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  • Kerry Sue Teravskis

CALL TO ACTION


Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12 (NLT)

Just in case you forgot...Paul wrote these words. Paul, the man who endured much. Probably more than I will ever see in my lifetime. His life was anchored in Christ but also anchored in hardships.

But, I don’t think he would have had it any other way. Because I believe he knew the secret to abiding in Christ - obedience even in trials and suffering.

He could have quit, walked away or not kept going the way he was going. It seems that he was constantly walking into trouble. New city, arrests awaited him. Onboard a ship - shipwrecked. It was rather a given.

But he took it all in stride.

How?

I think it has something to do with the steps of action as noted above -

REJOICE - Be joyful. In what? In our confident hope. Am I confident in my hope in Jesus? Do I trust Him completely? Even when I don’t see His hand can I trust His heart? Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6); do I have faith? The first step is the hardest at times, but it is worth it to get that momentum going.

A new venture is scary, but with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27). Even an old affliction can be scary - it’s where I am currently. My thoughts run along the line of always being here, never being able to walk correctly, or this is all there is. To me this is terrifying. But, I need to rejoice.

Why?

Because I am not in this alone. Neither are you, dear one. No matter the situation, we can rejoice in the hope we have. Our hope has a name; it is JESUS. Yes, we can rejoice in Him.

BE PATIENT - Honestly, I have yet to meet anyone who says he/she has patience. Ever. Not that we are all an impatient lot, rather, this is one fruit of the Spirit or virtue that seems elusive. Being patient is just plain hard.

Waiting in traffic tries my patience. It shouldn’t. I grew up and lived in LA traffic most of my life. I have lived in third world countries and traveled in third world countries. Cars are everywhere, including sidewalks. But show me red tail lights and a long string of cars at a crawl, and I have to remind myself that this too shall pass and nothing I do would change the inevitable.

How about you? What gets your goat? The never ending labyrinth of computer generated answers to your call? Or, the long line at a grocery store? You hop in for one thing (1 thing, mind you), and you end up waiting 30 minutes for the one checker! Grrr.

Paul was writing about being patient in trouble. In other translations it is rendered affliction. This is a buzz word for me because of my 2.5+ years of suffering. Affliction. My heart stops when I hear this word. And I have to pause my mind too to assess my patience meter. Am I truly patient with affliction?

I’d like to say yes.


Truth is, the answer is mostly no. I’m done. Worn out to a frazzle and so ready to be over it!

Ever felt that way? With an injury, an illness, or a loved one’s affliction? We don’t count days in affliction - we count moments because they seem to crawl by. When one asks what you did today, the only honest answer we can, at times, give is, “I survived.”

There has to be more - I’m thinking it’s to rejoice. Rejoice in God’s goodness because that is constant. He never changes even if my affliction or circumstance doesn’t or grows worse - I can still rejoice in Him.

KEEP ON PRAYING - I don’t know about you, but affliction causes me to pray more. I pray for relief, direction, sleep, healing. My prayer life has increased since my affliction. It could be because my life has changed so much - instead of do, do, do and go, go, go. I sit, sit, sit with my feet elevated. This type of environment has given me ample time to pray. And to keep on praying.

Turns out there is so much to pray for. Loved ones, world events, life and the need for clarity and direction. Also, I believe God wants us to be still in Him. To just be. In His Presence and worship. Enjoy Him and just chat.

Sound irreverent? Well, I have learned to be myself in God’s Presence. When I read in Hebrews 4:16 that I can boldly approach the throne room of God without shame, I put it into practice. I usually imagine myself as a little girl with pigtails flinging open heaven’s gate and rushing into my Father, talking a mile a minute. And all I see is love on my Father’s face with His arms stretched wide to catch me as I climb into His lap.

God encourages me to share about my day - my hurts and my joys. He wants to be in my presence too, just as much as I want to be in His. We move into a real conversation and a place of love and acceptance. It’s beautiful actually.

Are all my prayer times like this? No. Many are arrow prayers - shot up on the fly because the situation calls for it. Some prayers are on the phone with someone who is hurting or in need of love demonstrated through the action of prayer. Some prayers are more cries in anguish, while others are shouts of joy.

Paul encourages us to pray - talk with God. As in every other relationship we have with others, it can look different depending upon the circumstance. The goal is to talk, and keep on talking with God. Even when it’s hard.

Even when the healing doesn’t come or the prayer isn’t answered immediately or the way we wanted.

Our life with God is a life of faith. It is to be done one step at a time and our eyes need to be focused on Him. He is here and He is near. Our Father will uphold us every single step we take. We need to put this call into action - take our faith seriously and put it into practice.

Are you with me?


PRAYER

Father God, thank You for Your loving kindness and goodness. I am so complete in You - especially when I can be in Your Presence and just be myself with You. Your love for me is matchless. Endless, and wonderful. May I step in Your throne room often and enjoy every moment there. Help me Lord to work out my salvation with these steps of action, because I want to please You, not because I have a to-do list. I love You Lord. So much.




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