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
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
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
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
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.