Category Archives: Romans

The New Me … joyful, patient, faithful.

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. NIV

Welcome to year two of this project.

I began this journey one year ago today.  February 20 was a Saturday, and there was quite a bit of snow on the ground when I sat down to start a blog.

I’d never been a blog reader, and I’m not a twenty-something.  But, it seemed intuitively to me to be the right way to catalogue what I hoped would be a year of help and hope and healing.

It has.

If I’d stayed on track with my goal to find one of the Bible’s reminder not to worry each day, I would have finished yesterday.  But, there were six days this last year when life got in the way, in one way or another, and I failed to find a reminder, or to write one down on those days.

So, instead of finishing yesterday, my plan is now to finish this coming Friday, with 365 reminders found … in one year plus a little less than one week.

Today, my word search on “hope” has brought me here to Romans.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Joyful in hope … note that it doesn’t say that hope is our last resort.  Instead, it is a joyous privilege.

Patient in affliction … Times of affliction are times of learning.  If we rush to get through them in order to stop the pain or the inconvenience, we don’t learn. For me, it seems that if I deal with affliction with impatience (or with worry), I’m likely to repeat exactly the same thing that caused my problem in the first place.  If I’m patient in affliction, such that I can get to a place of truly accepting my circumstances, God can and will open my eyes to see the world in new and different ways and to learn new things about myself and to see new ways that I can be useful to others who are in need.

Faithful in prayer … I’m called to pray without ceasing, in goods times and in bad.  It is through prayer that I can turn my worries over to God; through prayer that I can experience the peace that passes understanding; and through prayer that I can develop a deeper relationship with my Heavenly Father.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

I absolutely want to be these things.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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No constraints

Romans 8: 24-25

For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what he already has?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  NIV

Hope that is seen is no hope at all.

I love that.

Hope that is seen is certainty.  Anyone can trust in what he can see or feel.

Hope is the opposite of worry.

When I’m worried, I’ve either figured out what I want, and I’m worried that it won’t happen … or, I’ve figured out all the terrible things that could happen, and I’m worried that they will.

When I hope, I put no constraints on the future.

I make my requests known to God, with thanksgiving for whatever He may choose to do.  And, when I’m hoping, my heart is thankful for all of the incredible things that He already has done for me.

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Need a little encouragement?

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  NIV

Wow!

As I read these words this morning, they were such an encouragement to me.  Paul was an encourager!  I love that.

I am blessed in my life to know several great encouragers.  They are the ones that I call when things are going poorly, and I absolutely LOVE it  when the phone rings and one of them is on the other end of the line.

Without fail, you feel better when you spend time with an encourager.  They always know just the right thing to say, and, I believe God uses them to say things to me that I need to hear.  They don’t always say good things … but, pretty much without fail, they are right on point.

Once, we were blessed to have one of my dear friends stay with us for almost a week.  It was not the easiest of times for me, and I poured out my heart to my friend.  She left while I was at work, and when I came home, there was a big sign propped in the window of my kitchen.  It’s a wooden sign, maybe 10 inches by 30 inches, beautifully painted.  Needless to say, I couldn’t miss it.  It still sits there today.  It says, “Write it on your heart that the ones you love are life’s most precious gifts.”  It was a perspective I was missing at the time.  It was a message I needed to hear.  I ponder it as I make coffee in the mornings, as I wash dishes … I think about it often, and I am thankful for the wisdom and the encouragement of my friend.

I wish I had another sign … one with these words of Paul on it.

May the God of hope … all my hope is in Him.

fill you with all joy … all joy, I love that … I love that it could mean “all kinds of joy,” or “all the joy in the world,” or “only joy.”

and peace as you trust in him … trust in Him is the only source of true peace.

so that you may overflow with hope … so that there will be so much hope in you that you cannot contain it … it will spill out of you like water and be completely evident to all around you.

by the power of the Holy Spirit … let’s keep this in perspective … this hope is NOT a feeling, it is a manifestation of the power of the One True God.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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What’s next?

Romans 8:15

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And, by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” NIV

Wow!

I am blown away by this reminder.  This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning.  I woke up feeling a bit overwhelmed and worried about the things this day will hold.  But, God says, I don’t have to feel that way.

“You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear.”

Don’t go back to living that fearful, worried life!  You don’t have to.  You are a child of God.

Listen to how The Message paraphrases it:  The resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life.  It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a child-like, “What’s next, Papa?”

Wow.

When I was a kid, my dad had a full-time job, and he was in graduate school.  I didn’t get to spend tons of time with him.  But once, right after my little sister was born, my father took me, all by myself, to a big amusement park.  All day.  Just me and him.

The whole family went on the trip, even the baby.   We had to drive a day to get there, and we got to stay two nights in a hotel.

It was one of the most memorable days of my life.  I still remember what I wore, even the bauble my mom put in my hair.

That day was a true adventure.  We rode roller coasters over and over and over, and log flumes … I had never done either of these things.  I was thrilled.  After each ride, I couldn’t imagine what adventure might be next.

This verse calls me to live that life each day, with God, an adventurous, expectant life.

That’s an amazing thing to think about today.

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