Romans Chapter 12


Hope based on promises.


Verse 12 "Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer."


There are three key words in this verse of scripture: hope, tribulation, and prayer. Our hope enables us to bear up under tribulation. Tribulation leads us to seek God in prayer.

Hope is based on the promises of God: Titus 1:2 "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began." The hope that we have of eternal life rest upon the covenant promise of eternal life that God made before the world began. Also, Hebrews 6:17-20 teaches us of hope resting in God's immutable promise: "Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec."

While we rejoice in the hope of eternal life, yet we also hope in all the promises of God, knowing that it is impossible for God to lie. Included in these promises are:

1. Heb 13:5 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
2. Isa 43:2 "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."
3. Mat 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
4. Mat 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
5. John 16:13 "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come."
6. Psa 46:1 "To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
7. Heb 4:16 "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

These are just a few of the many promises that God has made to his children in which we have hope and are made to rejoice. We rejoice knowing that God has promised and that his promises cannot fail.

Furthermore, the hope that we have encourages us in times of tribulation that comes in our lives. Tribulations teach us to trust in the Lord for our help and deliverances. Patience can be defined as waiting upon the Lord. When we are faced with trials and troubles in our lives, we learn that we need to wait upon the Lord to fulfill his promises to us to deliver us and be with us in the midst of those trials and tribulations. Thus, thru the trials and tribulations our patience is exercised and made to increase. The more that we see the Lord's deliverances in the midst of trials and tribulations, the more we learn to wait upon him when we are faced with future trials and tribulations.

In the midst of our trials and tribulations, we learn to cast all our care upon the Lord for he careth for us. Thus, trials and troubles lead us to have an active prayer life. We are told that we should not wait till we are overwhelmed with the problems of life, but that we should learn to be instant in prayer. Why should we wait until we are overwhelmed with our problems before we seek the lord? We should be continually in prayer that God will guide us and help us. Likewise we should be thankful in our prayers to God for what he has done for us, and what he is doing for us, and what he will continue to do for us.

Verse 13 "Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality."


There are some preachers in the religious world that continually ask money from their congregations, not because they have needs, but because they have wants. The verse teaches us that we are to distribute to the necessity of saints, not to the wants of saints. Sometimes, people ask for financial assistance for things that are not really needs, but are their personal wants.


Nevertheless, there are needs that arise in the lives of God's people (saints). Paul set an example for us: Acts 20:32 "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. 33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. 34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. 35 I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."

Paul also commended the church at Philippi: Phil. 4:15 "Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity." James exhorts us to show our love to our brethren by giving to their necessities: James 2:15 "If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?"

One of the reasons that the office of deacon was established was so that the church could organizationally care for the needs of the poor widows in the congregation: Acts 6:1 "And in those days, when the number of the disciples was m ultiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word."

The early church at Jerusalem set a great example of willingness to share their good to communicate to the needs of the needy: Acts 4:32 "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need."

John taught that to fail to respond to the need of others when we are able calls in question our love of God: 1 John 3:17 "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"

In addition, to distributing to the needs of saints, we are to be given to hospitality. That is we are to be ready to entertain strangers. Sometimes the strangers come to us asking us about the things we believe and practice. Paul tells us in Hebrews that some through entertaining strangers have entertained angels unaware: Heb. 13:2 "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." The kingdom of God and the gospel are not private affairs for the individual children of God. The kingdom and the gospel are to be made known to others. We should have a willingness to share the good news wherever the Lord will open a door of utterance for us. Peter tells us in 1 Pet. 3:15: "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."

Thus, we should not only have a willingness to share of our natural goods with the needs of others, but we should also have a willingness to share of our spiritual blessings and knowledge with the enquiring minds of God's children.