Saturday, November 29, 2008

Romans 12:12

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

One of the things which has really been impressed upon me at BSF is what the word "hope" means in a Christian context. It refers to the hope that all Christians have: hope of a future, an eternal future, in the intimate presence of God, giving Him praise and bringing glory to Him. It refers to the hope believers have of an inheritance: that we, as co-heirs with Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, we are all God's children. It refers to what Paul called his "hope in the resurrection": the fact that Jesus was only the first to enter into eternal life and that we, who place our hope in Him and in His authority over sin as evidenced by His resurrection, will one day also be given new bodies and live in the new heavens and the new earth. That even now, we are a new creation because of what He has done.

The more I ponder these things, the more joy I find in them. How wonderful it will be to spend eternity with God, the Holy, Everlasting, Perfect One.

Paul's letters talk a lot about the purpose of trials and temptations. Jesus warned His followers that they were unavoidable. At the moment, I do not feel "afflicted" - but that could be a warning that trials are just around the corner, so to speak. These things are inevitable and so I need to take advantage of the blessedly peaceful life I have at this present moment to deepen the roots of my faith down through the word of God to the rock of my salvation: Jesus Christ. I must rely on Him now so that I will also remember to rely on Him then.

The more I ponder this, the more I am driven to read my Bible and pray, seeking a stronger, deeper relationship with the One Who is my God, the One True God.

Am I faithful in prayer? Oh, I earnestly desire that this be so. Yet I know that I often ignore the Holy Spirit's prompts to prayer. And I do this as a deliberate, wilful, consciously sinful act. For this I am so ashamed.

As I ponder this, I am driven to repent.

Oh LORD, please help me to be diligent and faithful in prayer. Help me to "pray until I pray", keeping on with our conversation until I finally am open and honest with You. Make me more aware that when I refuse to spend time in prayer, when I roll over and don't get out of bed when You have woken me up, or when I feel the urge to pray and yet ignore it, make me more aware that I am rejecting You and what I am doing is sinful. Please help me to value our time together more than I do at present. Teach me to feel Your presence all day, every day, so that I do not try to comnpartmentalise You out of bits of my life. Remind me that You are always near, always within me by Your Holy Spirit, and so I I have no option but to share my life with You! Teach me to do so willingly, to want to talk to You about important matters and insignificant ones. Make me like Your Son, who took time to pray when He needed Your strength and also when things were seemingly going magnificently well. LORD, remind me that You are my Father and we have a relationship. Help me to remember that relationships only grow when the people involved spend time together. Help me to spend time with You LORD, because I want a better relationship with You more than I want anything.


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