Paul was no stranger to suffering. He endured beatings, imprisonments, persecution, and hardships. Just like our culture, Paul's culture was filled with senseless hearts, wickedness, reprobate minds, maliciousness, and insolence. Yet he could rejoice in a hope that was based upon an absolute trust and faith that comes from persistent prayer.
"Paul was no stranger to suffering. Yet he could rejoice in a hope that was based upon an absolute trust and faith that comes from persistent prayer."
Paul's hope was rooted in the God of power and might. He placed his hope in the One who keeps His promises. Paul grieved over the condition of Roman society, but he did not despair because of it. Paul grieved over the cruelty and selfishness of the culture of his day, but he would not allow them to cloud his vision. Paul experienced attacks from bitter people, but he never allowed his persecution to embitter his spirit.
There are times when we will grieve over issues and people, but, even in the midst of our frustrations and turmoil, we can maintain a state of mind that is filled with optimism. When we know who we are in Christ and where we are spending eternity, we will stay in fellowship with God. Our relationship with Him will give us the strength to persevere in tough times and to rejoice in hope. We may still feel pessimistic over certain events, but we do not have to be overcome by our emotions.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the example of the Apostle Paul, who did not allow his circumstances to make him bitter. Help me to rejoice in hope today as I persist in prayer. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"And we boast in the hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:2).