Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:9-13
Joy. Patience. Faithfulness. Three very distinct marks of a Believer. They are also three very wonderful character traits to possess, they’re all related.
Think of it, you’re caring for your ailing but independent parents. Their health is deteriorating but they don’t want your help despite your numerous offers. You want to run (by not being available to help anymore) but you know you need to be patient. It causes you to be in constant prayer because, quite frankly, you don’t how you can help them any more than you already have. The joy comes when you realize that God is in control. Your hope in Him to see you through is greater than the situation. Period. Paragraph.
There are a million other situations that are similar to this: different players, different circumstances, same all-powerful God.
- The runaway daughter cannot be found.
- The alcoholic brother continues to destroy his life.
- The man who walks away from his wife and children after 15 years of marriage.
- The long time friend who wants nothing more to do with you.
Very real and very painful. All too common. Your instinct is to give up, but you know you need to persevere. And you will. You have the Holy Spirit inside helping you to make it through each. A year or two from now you’ll look back and wonder how you made it, but for now, you’re continuing to rest in God’s goodness. One little victory at a time.