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Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 (NIV)

My joy got stolen from me the other day. Ripped right out of my heart before I knew it. One moment it was there, the next it was gone. I thought it was secure, in fact, looking back, I was probably a little too smug about its secure position.

I don’t think I’m alone. You’ve probably had your hope snatched a few times as well. Hope is fragile and valuable. If you have hope, you can conquer most any obstacle before you. If you have hope the old phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ becomes a truism. If you have hope the daily frustrations of life seem to run off your back like water off a duck.

But when the hope snatchers sneak in, all bets are off. The issues of life are the same whether you have hope or not. It’s not if you have hope that counts, but what you have hope in that matters.

Put hope in politics and you’ll be miserable indeed. Put hope in people and relationships, your heart will be crushed as the hope is ripped out. Finances? Healthy living? Social action and volunteerism? All fine and good, but put your hope in them and you are putting your hope in something that’s as full of holes as Swiss cheese. Even religion offers little hope beyond what we can see, touch and feel.

Where then can we get this hope in a world where hopelessness seems encamped on every street corner?

Paul writes, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12) The key to the whole verse, and life, is found in the word ‘hope’. If you put your hope in something that is secure, solid and trusted then patience and faithfulness come easier. If, on the other hand your hope is put in something fallible, affliction will rob you of your joy and frustration will set in.

The key to hope, joy and patience is faithfulness in prayer. Prayer is the lifeline between you and the hope you have in Christ Jesus. Pray when your hope seems gone. Pray when your patience is thin. Pray when you have no desire to pray at all.

The next time your hope is ripped from your heart like mine was, step back and ask yourself where you were putting your hope in the first place. It may be time for a change in perspective.

PRAYER: Father God, forgive me for the times when I’ve put my hope in things rather than in you. Help me focus my prayers and my attitude towards you so that I can remain strong when hope-snatchers attack. Amen.

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RSS Podcasts from Zion

  • Blessed Assurance
    From our series, “Famous Last Words“ Our hope comes from seeing our need and seeing Jesus for who he is.
  • ‘Father, Forgive Them’
    From our series “Famous Last Words” — In the midst of Jesus’ suffering he chose to forgive those who didn’t know they needed forgiveness and didn’t ask for it. His forgiveness was based on his love, not their remorse.
  • Grow Deep!
    From our series “40 Days in the Word”— When we believe in Jesus we are strengthened through the vine and protected and empowered through the Father. The deeper you grow in the Word the deeper you grow in Jesus and the deeper your joy.
  • You Can Trust the Bible
    From our series, 40 Days in the Word. Knowing ABOUT the Bible isn’t the same as making it the one and only authority in your life. Living the Bible is more important that telling others about the Bible.
  • RESET your life when you’ve been forgiven
    From our series “RESET Your Life. God knows we can never love him the way he loves us but calls us to follow him in spite of our weakness.

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  • RT @TimBurt: Hebrews 10:23 "Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise." #GodKe2 hours ago
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