Acceptable Worship: Joyful, Prayerful and Persevering in Tribulation

Mt. Pulag, Romans 12:12, joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer,
Mt. Pulag, Cordillera Central, Philippines | May 2010

Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer.

By God’s grace, as we submit to be conformed to His character, sincerely love one another, value others above ourselves and humbly serve the Lord with all our hearts, we will encounter difficulties and trials. The Bible tells us many times that we will go through sufferings.

Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:12 that everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

After commanding His disciples to love one another, Jesus warned them in John 15:18-21, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.” 

And in John 16:33, Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

In the same way, Paul exhorts us to rejoice in our hope — the confident expectation of our eternal salvation paid by the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. To rejoice literally means to experience God’s grace and be glad for it. This joyfulness of heart is not dependent on a favorable circumstance or on having a positive disposition because regardless of the circumstance God’s grace is abundant and His promises are true. Our hope is sure and we can rejoice because we know that He who promised is faithful.

Joy in our hope comes from focusing our hearts and our minds on the steadfast character of the Lord. This gives us encouragement and allows us to persevere in tribulation and hold fast on His promises as we wait with eager expectation of that future glory that will be revealed in us.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:3-5)

It is when we go through trials that we become more prayerful. The more intense our affliction, the more persistent and fervent we are in prayer. Being devoted in prayer means to continue steadfastly and wait upon the Lord as we pray, to consistently show strength which prevails in spite of difficulties. 

The Lord uses our trials to mold us into the likeness of Christ to bring Him glory and our confident hope and constancy in prayer sustains us to persevere through it.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Romans 12 Personal Study Series:
Acceptable Worship: An Offering Prescribed by God (Romans 12:1-2)
Acceptable Worship: A Selfless Service (Romans 12:3-8)
Acceptable Worship: A Love That Conforms to God’s Character (Romans 12:9-10)
Acceptable Worship: A Zealous and Fervent Service to the Lord (Romans 12:11)
Acceptable Worship:  Joyful, Prayerful and Persevering in Tribulation (Romans 12:12)
Acceptable Worship:  An Eagerness to Meet the Needs of God’s People (Romans 12:13)

Interlinear Bible
Parallel Bible

For further understanding of Romans 12 you can check these sites: GCF’s sermon series on Romans or John MacArthur’s sermon series on Romans.

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