Romans 12:12 NASB1995
rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer
In Jesus we have true hope. In this world people place their hope in many things. But it is only in Jesus we find something that we can place our hope in that is unchanging and unshakable. Everything in this world is passing away. We may place our hope in our job, or our family, maybe we put our hope in our status or job title. But the issue with all of that is each of those things can change in a moment. But why can we place our hope in Jesus?
The word hope here means either hope or expectation. How can we build our lives on something and expect something if it is dynamic and changing? This is not the case with Jesus. God is unchanging. No matter what we face, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Mal 3:6). Because Jesus is unchanging, we understand that regardless of what we face, the Lord is not going to be affected by it. God exist outside of time. His power and authority is without limit and end. With a word He created all things, He spoke all things into existence out of nothing. So regardless of what we face, we can build our hope on Jesus because He never changes. He is always faithful to His word and will accomplish all things by His grace and power.
The next thing Paul writes here is persevering in tribulation. The word tribulation means trouble, tribulation, oppression. Trouble or affliction that causes pressure. Jesus said that in this world we would have trouble but to fear not He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Regardless of what we face we know that the grace of God is sufficient. His strength is perfected in our weakness. Even we are pressed on every side, we will not be shaken because of Jesus. When we bring all things before the Lord in prayer, we place the battle and trial in His hands. If we face things without prayer, we are simply trying to navigate life in our own strength and wisdom. It will always lead to defeat. But when we trust the Lord with our whole heart, He will show Himself faithful every time. Often God will allow us to go through trials of various kinds because it is here that truth growth and maturity takes place, and in the end, they actually turn out to be a great blessing.
Paul third statement is devoted to prayer. Devoted means be devoted in, persist obstinately in; persevere. When we are devoted to prayer it means we are committed to prayer no matter what we face. When we are pressed on every side we really have two choices, we can truly trust Jesus or we can abandon faith and rely on our own strength and power. But prayer is one of the greatest privileges God has given us. Through prayer we have an audience with the creator. Through Jesus we are able to draw near to the throne of grace. God not only hears us, but He moves at the prayers of His people. This is the only way we can truly navigate this journey we know as Christianity. We must rejoice in hope, preserve in tribulation, and be devoted in prayer. When this is how we live on a daily basis, we will find that no matter what we face we will simply trust Jesus at all times, and we will not be shaken.
Father help me in my weakness. Fill me with your strength and power. Help me to see the trials and challenges I face through your eyes. Remove from my life anything that hinders your will and purpose. May my life truly be a living sacrifice unto you. May I truly place my hope in you. May I preserve through the trials that I face. May I be devoted to prayer on a daily basis. May every battle be in your hands and may I grow in intimacy and maturity every day. In the name of Jesus, Amen!
1. What challenges are you facing that are truly shaping and molding your life?
2. How can you invite God into the battle today?
3. What are some ways you have grown in Christ over the last year?
 Craig Allen Hill, “Suffering,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).  Rick Brannan, ed., Lexham Research Lexicon of the Septuagint, Lexham Research Lexicons (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020).