Keeping it Humble Part 4: Don’t Stop Believing

 
Hey everyone, today we’re breaking down a tough verse, not
that they haven’t all been tough. Let’s recap what we’ve worked through so far:
 
“Let love be without
hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly
affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to
one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit,
serving the Lord;” Romans 12:9-11 NKJV
 
If you’re just joining our series on keeping it humble you
can catch up here:
 
 
 
 
 
We’re tacking on verse 12 to our passage.
 
“…rejoicing
in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;”
 
Let’s dig into each phrase, breaking it down in the Greek for
a richer meaning, then apply it to ourselves in the context of humility.
 
Ready?
 
Rejoicing means to be exceedingly glad and to thrive or do
well.
 
In hope…what is the hope that we are to be exceedingly glad
about and thrive in?
 
The Greek word for hope is elpis and it means joyful
and confident expectation of eternal salvation; the author of hope, or he who
is its foundation
 
You and I have a reason to thrive and do well, we have a reason
to be exceedingly glad. The author of our hope has defeated death, hell, and
the grave. He has rescued us from eternal damnation. Our hope is forever
salvation and all the freedom that it brings. We have a firm foundation to rejoice
upon, it’s Jesus Christ!
 
And the reason this phrase comes first, I believe, is because
we need to remember first and foremost that we have something and Someone to
hope in.
 
Why?
 
Tribulations are coming. 
 
And it will require patience. It’s
during these times we need to remind ourselves to rejoice, to be glad, because
hope is not lost.
 
The word patient in
the Greek is hypomenō and it means to preserve: under misfortunes and trials
hold fast to one’s faith in Christ; to endure, bear bravely and calmly: ill
treatments
 
I’m reminded of David. He’d been anointed king in private
but instead of ascending to the throne, he served, humbly, a king who came to
despise him through jealous eyes. Many years David ran from Saul. He hid in caves.
He had no rest. And many of his Psalms were written during this time.
 
In Psalm
25 David pours out his heart: “Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me,
For I am
desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Bring me out of
my distresses! Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins. Consider
my enemies, for they are many; And they hate me with cruel hatred. Keep my
soul, and deliver me; Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You. Let
integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You.” Verses 16-21
 
I see
tribulation. And I also see while he shares his trouble with the Lord, he
trusts Him and ends here with the fact he will wait for God.
 
Will you?
 
The phrase
continuing steadfastly in prayer in the Greek is proskartereō and it means, to
persevere and not to faint;
to show one’s self courageous for; to be steadfastly
attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing
 
Prayer
takes courage, doesn’t it? It means you believe you’re being heard by the
Almighty. It shows vulnerability and trust. Sometimes, we don’t see our prayers
answered right away. Sometimes after five, ten, fifteen years, we have yet to
see the pain taken away, the dreams fulfilled fill-in-the-blank.
 
And we get
tired. We grow faint. We stop praying. Maybe, just maybe, we stop believing.
Cue Don’t Stop Believing by Journey here. Susan Tuttle, my iTunes hit was just for
you.
 
We have to
travel back to that first phrase. Rejoice in hope. And you and I both know at
times, rejoicing has to be a choice. Especially when we’re experiencing
tribulation.
 
We can’t
give up praying.
 
Again, I’m
reminded of David. After he and Bathsheba committed adultery, their child died.
God had already told David this was going to happen. Yet, David fasted and wept
and prayed because he said in 2 Samuel 12:22, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will
be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ “
 
It isn’t
over until it’s over. 
 
Yes, David’s son still died. And that’s a hard pill to
swallow, but God had just told David after he repented, that his sins would be
inked out. Forgiven. But with sin comes consequences (I am not saying that
children’s deaths are linked to sin. I’m talking about David’s personal case
here) and I like to see this as a picture of grace and mercy. Because that is
Who God is.
 
For one
man to live, a son had to die.
 
For you
and I to have the hope we do, a Son had to die.
 
 
Hezekiah
prayed to the Lord when he was sick. And God gave him fifteen years more on his
life.
 
We can’t
give up praying. We must persevere and be brave. Stay calm and trust God to do
the right thing, to allow the right things, even when they feel wrong to you and
I.
 
Prayer is
humbling. Especially when we’re in situations we can’t control. And I think it’s
fair to say we can’t control tribulations. When we rejoice in hope and meditate
on that hope, it is humbling. We can’t save ourselves. We can’t control every
single thing. We must be dependent on Someone else. And we have to be
vulnerable and trust.
 
Praying
continually keeps us low and brings God high. Rightfully where He belongs.
Rightfully where we belong.
 
“But,
beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a
thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack
concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward
us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:8-9
 
“If you
are trying hard to do good, no one can really hurt you. But even if you suffer
for doing right, you are blessed.
 
“Don’t be
afraid of what they fear;
    do not dread those things.” (reference: Isaiah
8:12–13)
 
But
respect Christ as the holy Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to answer
everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have, but answer in a
gentle way and with respect. Keep a clear conscience so that those who speak
evil of your good life in Christ will be made ashamed.  It is better to suffer for doing good than for
doing wrong if that is what God wants.  Christ himself suffered for sins once. He was
not guilty, but he suffered for those who are guilty to bring you to God. His
body was killed, but he was made alive in the spirit.” 1 Peter 3:13-18 NCV
 

 

 
Life Application: If you have given up praying for something, start again this week. Today! Make a conscious decision
to rejoice and when those around you ask why you can be exceedingly glad when
your life is falling apart at best and at the very least, you have some
annoyances going on, you can answer them and tell them about your hope. About
Who your foundation is built upon. Take time to pour your heart out to the Lord. Be
honest and vulnerable before Him. Trust Him to know best.
 
Prayer: Lord, we love you, honor you, trust you,
respect you. We rejoice and give thanks for the amazing rescue of our souls.
For taking our place, for becoming our sin and giving us a eternal hope. Thank
you for never leaving us or forsaking us, even when we feel alone and isolated
and destroyed. We know that we are not. We may be struck down, but never
destroyed. Lord, help us to grasp that things really do work together for good
to those who love you. Let us not grow bitter and see that as a platitude with no
power behind it, but as hope for our future. A good one. One that will indeed
prosper us. Lord, forgive us for dropping the ball in prayer regardless of our
reasons. And strengthen us to continue in it because, Lord, we truly never know
when you will show grace and mercy. And it is not over until it’s over. In Your
precious name, Jesus, Amen.
 
How can I pray for you
and with you? If you want to email me privately, go to my Connect page. Now, what
is one thing you can rejoice about today?
 

6 thoughts on “Keeping it Humble Part 4: Don’t Stop Believing

  1. Thanks iTunes;)

    Great great great stuff, Jess. "Prayer takes courage" um, yes, it does. You brought the WORD today! And once again, it's one I'm going to be chewing on all day…while I'm singing a little Journey, thank you very much:)

     
     
  2. So good, Jessica. Keep spreading the good news.

     
     
  3. I love you, girl. Your words hit home today. It's easy to stop praying and hoping, to decide to "handle it" on our own. But prayer brings us to our needs and reminds us that's where we belong.

     
     
  4. So true! And I've been praying for more courage. 🙂 One of the prayers that I wrote down in my prayer journal (okay – my "prayer journal" is actually a note on my iphone) and that I've been praying over for a while says "Family – Courage and strength through you. Bold. Brave. For you and through you." Before I found out we were having a boy, I looked up the meaning of the boy name we'd chosen. It means "Bold." I looked up the girl name we'd chosen, and it means "Brave." I love when God does stuff like that.The smallest things can be the biggest reminders that He hears our prayers.

     
     
  5. I loved this, Jess, and I especially loved your life application at the end. I get frustrated at myself sometimes for forgetting to pray. Ack! It's like, I let myself get consumed with a "thing" and there's an answer staring me in the face: PRAY. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder.

     
     
  6. Something about the words inked out got to me in this post. I love how you speak such truth in posts like this!

     
     

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