Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
The Christian journey is not easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. The scriptures remind us the state of mind we must have as we deal with the things life throws at us. Unfortunately, in the midst of troubles we allow doubt to creep in, leading to a point where we are not tapping into the power God offers us to deal with difficulties.
Romans 12:12 reminds us that striving for joy, patience, and faith will help us down the paths of life. Each is impossible without a constant connection to God. This connection comes from prayer, Bible study, worship, and teaching and mentorship from others. We can’t be joyful on our own; patience comes not from ourselves but from an increased prayer life that leads to an understanding of what God desires for our life; and faith is strengthened when we pray more and see the results of prayer.
I remember when my sister was learning to swim. It wasn’t like one day she just jumped in the deep end and started paddling around. It started in the shallow end in the arms of my dad and over time moved into the deep end. It is easy to think when reading Romans 12:12 that we are expected to be naturally joyful, patient, and faithful. But it is not easy and it is not natural to think this way. Over time, though, as we trust in God and see Him at work in our lives, joy, patience, and faith do become easier.