Archive for July 17th, 2007

A New Perspective

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Romans 12:12 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider these questions: What might God be saying to me in this passage? What jumps out at me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts on this passage (Steve Adams):

These three short commands have been a source of great strength and inspiration to me for many years. When the pressure of life is on, they put wings to my soul! I’d like to tell you why.

Rejoice in hope… Have you ever thought about how rejoicing in something enables you to transcend circumstances? When I was trying to endure a painful and discouraging job, with no prospects for change, each day I would struggle to overcome futile and frustrating feelings that would well up inside. However, I remember one day when conditions were bleak as usual, yet I was hardly able to contain the joy I felt! What had happened? I was rejoicing! You see, I had just met the love of my life. Suddenly, it was much easier to put the work situation in proper perspective!

What does it mean to rejoice in hope? Our great hope is living with our Lord Jesus Christ for eternity in His kingdom. This hope is not a wish, like when we say, “I hope it’s a nice day on Saturday.” No, it’s a certainty! God has promised and will deliver! Doesn’t it arouse your deepest longing to think of living in God’s Kingdom, with no more suffering, injustice, and death? In the coming age we’ll no longer have to struggle with evil from others or our own sinful nature! When this hope becomes real to us, it will improve our perspective more than falling in love!

Be patient in suffering . . . If I have patience, then I will continue on the path God has given me, even if I have to endure hardship. In other words, I won’t quit! Luke 8:15 speaks of those who “bring forth fruit with patience” (KJV). The NIV translates this same phrase “by persevering produce a crop.” So, those who are patient are those who persevere in a godly path through the long, hard days as well as the bright, sunny ones.

Persevere in prayer . . . Several years ago I prayed with others from a prayer list during the Pizza and Prayer meeting at church. Suddenly I felt inspired to say, “We need to pray for people who aren’t on this list, too.” Less than six months later, several people we knew from church who weren’t on the list had severe life crises which had begun before that prayer meeting. Even though I often fall short in how much I pray, this nevertheless served to teach me it is critical we pray even for those who appear to be doing well. A comprehensive prayer list is great, but there is so much unknown and downright mystery in life, it is impossible to know every critical need.

On the other hand, your prayer may help someone break through into a wonderful new realm that God has prepared for them. Just think, maybe it’s your prayer that gets them through! Other types of prayer, like conversing with and giving thanks to God, are also invaluable so that we can pour our hearts out to God, hear God’s wisdom, and give thanks for the good things.

Thought for the day: Today I will rejoice in eternal life with Jesus Christ, be patient in the hard times, and pray earnestly and joyfully!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need help getting started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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