Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. – Romans 12:12
There have been a lot of changes for Ryan and I in this past year, and this is one of the verses that we have been clinging to through it all. We have joyful hope for the future, because we know we will get to spend eternity in the presence of God. We have a real hope because we trust in Jesus, who said he would come to earth as a man, be crucified, defeat death and rise again so that we may be saved- and then he actually did it. My prayer is that you too have real hope because you are also trusting and following Jesus.
This year for us has brought about more affliction than we’ve seen in the first 4 years of our marriage. After an abrupt (though exciting) move, we were met with some challenging situations with jobs, housing, injury, finances, and death. We moved into, out of, and back into an apartment on campus. Ryan dislocated his shoulder with a fall. We totaled a vehicle we had purchased less than a month earlier. We lost our two dogs who were like our children. Through this verse, which I read every day because it’s written on an index card next to the bathroom mirror, God has given me patience in all these situations. He has reminded me that this patience in affliction brings about more joyful hope (Romans 5:3-5).
Moving away from our Colorado home and even further away from our Minnesota home has brought with it loneliness. But in my loneliness, God has prompted a greater faithfulness in prayer. While it is good and right to share joys and sorrows with people who know us and love us, it is most important that we go to our Creator first with our joys and sorrows. God is faithful in answering my prayers when I am faithful in praying them. It’s my habit to record the things I am praying about and my faith is increased when I look back on them and see how perfectly God has answered each one. As I look back on this past year, I see that He has been faithful to provide.
My prayer is that you are joyful in hope because you know and follow the risen Savior, that you are patient in affliction because you are trusting in God’s promises that He is working good for those who love Him, and that you are faithful in prayer, because God will change you through your prayers.