Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rejoice in Hope, Be Patient in Tribulation, Be Constant in Prayer

With the expansion of cable television news networks and social media, it is easy to become obsessed with the problems we face as a nation.  The problems are real and they deserve our attention.  But more and more, I find myself pulling away from all of the negative reporting on television, the constant bickering on radio talk shows, and sarcastic political posts on Facebook and Twitter.  I’m not pulling away to ignore the issues.  It just seems that dwelling on these things throughout the day and night only serves to increase my level of stress and takes my attention away from the God of hope.

I believe our nation is deeply divided between conservative and liberal ideologies.  The contrast between the two is so sharp there is little, if any middle ground.  The fight between the two will continue, and one side will eventually win.  Seems hopeless, doesn’t it?

For those who are in Christ, we can rejoice in hope.  Our hope is not in the future of our nation.  Our hope is in the assurance that our lives rest in the hand of God.  While it is important to try to preserve the integrity and freedom of our nation, it is infinitely more important that we share the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is our purpose.  This is our calling.

We will experience trials and tribulations.  Financial hardships, the loss of loved ones, broken relationships, and the stresses of everyday life impact our vision of hope.  These tribulations test our faith, and through testing, strengthen our faith.  As we grow in faith, we become better equipped to share the hope of the gospel of Christ.

Prayer focuses our attention on the God of hope.  If we are constant in prayer, we will not be obsessed with the cares of this world.  Prayer frees us to walk in peace with God and allows us to rejoice in the hope of his glory.

Don’t let the problems of our world consume you.  “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” – Romans 12:12 ESV

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