Romans 12:10-13 GOD’S WORD Translation
10 Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. 11 Don’t be lazy in showing your devotion. Use your energy to serve the Lord. 12 Be happy in your confidence, be patient in trouble, and pray continually. 13 Share what you have with God’s people who are in need. Be hospitable.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
As much as it is or is not possible for any one person, we read Paul’s directive to be joyful, patient and faithful in the midst of ever-mounting daily struggles.
Considering the differences between when Paul first wrote these words and these 21st century days, if there really are any significant differences except the passage of years and generations of people which have come and gone, and the obvious differences in socio-cultural, socio-economic, techno complexities, it must still be the same in the minds of the readers specific to each time frame.
They read the words and I have read the words myself over and over again, and it is clear to me as I believe it was to them: these words seem like a hard pill to try and swallow and remain faithful and devoted to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Every era has its own singularly unique complexities and challenges which we as followers and believers must raise up and meet – not in any image of “me, myself and I” but in the image of God. the Father, God the Son and Holy Spirit!
Be devoted to one another like a loving family.
Excel in showing respect for each other.
Do not be lazy in showing your devotion.
Use your energy to serve the Lord.
Be happy in your confidence.
Be patient in times of trouble – without regard to how big or small trouble is.
Share what you have with God’s people who are in need. (Who does not need?)
Any one of these directives taken alone is daunting enough.
Any two or three or more taken together in whatever combination – WOW!
But there are NINE DIRECTIVES given by the Apostle Paul in these verses.
Doing all NINE DIRECTIVES in the image of God, the Father, Son and Spirit?
Who is not wondering what was on Paul’s mind when he wrote these words?
Is Paul out of his collective mind? Is he or is he not in firm contact with reality?
However, these charges come directly on the heels of instruction to serve the Lord continually out of a growing and maturing spiritual fervor and passion for God. When we are walking after the Spirit, living out of our relationship to Him then these things will naturally occur in our lives because each one of these is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-26). These fruits are His characteristics and traits, so each of these identified characteristics in our lives are a byproduct of our relationship to Savior Christ. As we devote ourselves to God, become more and more like him, we will 100% start resembling His character on a daily basis.
Let us just try to carefully examine the directives from verse 12.
12 Be happy in your confidence, be patient in trouble, and pray continually.
We are to be joyful in hope.
When our hope is placed Jesus then being joyful in all things is easy because we know the hope to which we were called.
1 Peter says, “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade” (1 Peter 1:3-4).
As born-again believers, we know the hope that we have through Christ. Our future in heaven is secure in him by evidence of his resurrection.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9).
Just the knowledge one day we will be reunited with Christ is reason enough to be continually joyful in all things. This inexpressible and glorious joy should be self-evident to everyone around us because of the 100% hope we have in Christ.
Secondly, we are to be patient in affliction. Being patient is a wonderful characteristic to have. It is a quality of suffering with fortitude while enduring wrongs and trials at the hands of the world.
James tells us that we are to “consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).
The King James Bible says it this way, “the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:3-4 KJV).
The work of patience in our lives produces growth, maturity and completion in our faith. This is why we can be patient in affliction, because we know the result of the trial will not destroy us but rather help us grow and mature in the Lord.
Next we are to be faithful in prayer.
James teaches us “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
Through Christ Jesus we are completely righteous which means when we pray, it is powerful and effective. This is why Paul tells us to be continuously faithful in our continual devotion and discipline to prayer because we know that we are releasing God’s power on this earth when we pray.
Jesus told the disciples “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24). When we pray in accordance with God’s will then we can rest assured that the answer is yes to whatever we ask.
The Apostle Paul gave us an empowering and encouraging word in Romans 8 concerning this and praying in agreement to God’s will, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Since we are called to His purpose, we can pray in the knowledge that it is effective and will work out for our good.
Joy, patience and faithfulness are all fruit of the Spirit. We can operate in all of these things because they are characteristics of God and have been deposited into our born-again spirits. We can let them flow through us simply by living by His spirit and renewing our minds to the truth of His word. How may this word of God come to bless you and may your fruit look like His characteristics today?
Try giving the directives a new life within your 21st Century Times and Seasons!
Try giving these directives a new order within your 21st century complexities!
Recently I skimmed the verse backwards and it gave new life to the verse I already love.
FAITHFUL IN PRAYER
Prayer basically means to talk to God. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In all things we should seek God through prayer. We don’t need to be anxious, worried, or in doubt. He is always available to listen and give us peace.
Not only are we asked to pray but pray faithfully. Faithful by definition is to have a long-continued and steadfast devotion. So, we are to be devoted to prayer, and another translation tells us to be constant in prayer. Break the Cycle! Being in a constant conversation with God throughout your entire day. Through every last stumble we deliberately look to Him to guide us. That’s what He wants, and that’s what we need. A healthy relationship will always require communication.
PATIENT IN AFFLICTION
Patience is the ability to tolerate delay without getting angry or upset. I’ve heard a lot of people say, “don’t pray for patience, God will give it to you!” As in, you and I will sooner or later, end up in a situation that will require patience.
But the truth we all seem to take for granted is we will all have afflictions or something that causes us our unique pain and unique suffering in this life.
Whether it’s financial hardships, chronic pain, emotional struggles, or even various degrees and measures of oppression and persecution, we need Godly patience to help us along the way. When we face times like these, we can seek God through prayer and lean on Him to give us patience to endure our trials.
JOYFUL IN HOPE
We will spend eternity in the presence of the creator of the universe.
Our hope is in Jesus and eternal life spent with Him! This truth should be radiating from us!
John 14:1-14 GOD’S WORD Translation
Jesus Promises to Send the Holy Spirit
14 “Don’t be troubled. Believe in God and believe in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms. If that were not true, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare a place for you? 3 If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again. Then I will bring you into my presence so that you will be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going. So how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me. 7 If you have known me, you will also know my Father. From now on you know him ⌞through me⌟ and have seen him ⌞in me⌟.”
8 Philip said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will satisfy us.”
9 Jesus replied, “I have been with all of you for a long time. Don’t you know me yet, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father. So how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? What I’m telling you doesn’t come from me. The Father, who lives in me, does what he wants. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and that the Father is in me. Otherwise, believe me because of the things I do.
12 “I can guarantee this truth: Those who believe in me will do the things that I am doing. They will do even greater things because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do anything you ask ⌞the Father⌟ in my name so that the Father will be given glory because of the Son. 14 If you ask me to do something, I will do it.
Whatever size and magnitude of trials come our way; we can always be joyful in the fact that we will have a future with Jesus. In the meantime, through faithful prayer and patience, we can continue to look at Him until that day has come.
In John 16:33 after Jesus tells the disciples the future troubles, they were going to face he says:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Through faithfulness in prayer, we receive patience to wait upon Jesus in whom we find our joy-filled, joyful everlasting, ever-living, genuine hope.
We are called to disciple and shepherd not just the ones who are easy, but also the hurting ones. The hurt might be self-inflicted, or due to an illness, personal, financial, or relational loss or a number of other reasons. Regardless of the reason, Romans 12 is a beautiful road map I often refer to for walking with the hurting.
BE PRESENT: Let your love for others be genuine, not artificial or forced. Be the first one to greet them in the church lobby, make eye contact, smile at them make them feel valued and that they are important to you. Make the sincere effort to be present with them as they navigate their ups and downs of life.
Reconciliation, forgiving someone, coming back to church, making amends with those they hurt, or starting a conversation with God who they believe let the bad thing happen to them. These may be little baby steps to us, but it is a very necessary forward motion, and they need to hear you celebrate with them.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. ” Romans 12:9
“Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” – Romans 12:15
BE PATIENT: Don’t put off the hard conversations. This takes dedication, time, and intentionality. There is God, the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit’s part, there is our part, and their part. Don’t get too far ahead in your expectations and goal setting for them. Walk next to them, not ahead of them.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12
BE HUMBLE: “Let your mind be like Christ Jesus.” Ouch, that is a hard one. But Jesus showed us how to do that over and over. Living in harmony is hard work. We don’t get a free pass just because it is hard. Pride is the enemy of humility.
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.” – Romans 12:14
BE A GOOD LISTENER: A Sound, Growing and Mature Wisdom is knowing what to say and more importantly what not to say. Knowing when to say it and when not to say it. Listen with the exact intent to understand, not respond. The best moments occur when I’m counseling someone, and they just have that “awe ha” moment as they talk it out. Be ever so prudent in your use and application of silence. Give God His space. I didn’t tell them the solution, the Holy Spirit did.
In any time, Paul’s directives are complex and challenging. If we are walking with someone who is hurting, who has hurt you or those you care about, give it to God. He can take the burden off your shoulders and do what only he can do. Love them well in their journey to freedom from the heartaches weighing them down. Love them just as God loves you! Celebrate them as God celebrates you!
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. — Romans 12:12
Most of us have endured devastating trials in our lives. We have been devastated by financial loss, heartbreak, loss of loved ones, and other troubled times. Many of these stories are reported on television on a daily basis. And yet, 100% truth, time after time, the resilience of those who are facing adversity shines through.
The main reason many of us do not buckle or stumble under the weight of our circumstances is because of the eternal hope that is alive, well, in our hearts.
Characteristically, just like faith, hope is strengthened by adversity. The harsh experience of having gone through something difficult toughens our resolve so that we believe we are going to be okay. In verse 12 of Romans 12, Paul tried to help us understand that going through difficult times was no excuse to abandon hope. We should strive to remain joyful in faith, hope as we wait in anticipation for God’s promises to be fulfilled, with the greatest promise being His Heaven.
When you experience difficulty, you always have a choice. One option is to hide yourself in a dark place away from the world, or you can face the adversity head on, knowing that, In God, the Father, Son and Spirit, you are, 100% not alone.
God is forever there. Just reach out to Him in prayer. The everlasting hope that He has placed in your heart will see you through. And the next time you endure a trial, through godly patience and perseverance, your hope will be stronger.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us pray,
Holy God, make me a partaker of your Holy Spirit. Enlighten me, oh, God. May I taste this heavenly gift that you reserve for your righteous people. Cleanse me of any barriers in my heart and mind that may stop me from feeling your true presence in me. Flood any dark spots in my heart with your light. Help me to walk in your light and shine your beauty and grace on everyone I meet. Amen.