Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
This is easily one of my favorite verses of the Bible. I have it tabbed in my bible, it's framed near my bed, and I've had it as my lock-screen on my phone. I catch myself reading it over and over again. Though it seems so basic, I find that it's applicable to just about anything I'm going through.
Recently I skimmed the verse backwards and it gave new life to the verse I already love.
FAITHFUL IN PRAYER
Prayer basically means to talk to God. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In all things we should seek God through prayer. We don't need to be anxious, worried, or in doubt. He is always available to listen and give us peace.
Not only are we asked to pray, but pray faithfully. Faithful by definition is to have a long-continued and steadfast devotion. So we are to be devoted to prayer, and another translation tells us to be constant in prayer. Imagine being in a constant conversation with God throughout your entire day. Through every stumble we look to Him to guide us. That's what He wants, and that's what we need. A healthy relationship will always require communication.
PATIENT IN AFFLICTION
Patience is the ability to tolerate delay without getting angry or upset. I've heard a lot of people say “don't pray for patience, God will give it to you!” As in, you'll end up in a situation that will require patience.
But, the truth is we will all have afflictions or something that causes us pain and suffering in this life. Whether it's financial hardships, chronic pain, emotional struggles, or even persecution, we need Godly patience to help us along the way. When we face times like these, we can seek God through prayer and lean on Him to give us patience to endure our trials.
JOYFUL IN HOPE
We will spend eternity in the presence of the creator of the universe.
Our hope is in Jesus and eternal life spent with Him! This truth should be radiating from us!
Whatever trials come our way, we can always be joyful in the fact that we will have a future with Jesus. In the meantime, through faithful prayer and patience, we can continue to look at Him until that day has come.
In John 16:33 after Jesus tells the disciples the future troubles they were going to face he says:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Through faithfulness in prayer, we receive patience to wait upon Jesus in whom we find our joyful hope.