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The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Thursday, August 31, 2023

Lancaster County windmill (photo by Nick Nichols)
A close-up photo of a Lancaster County windmill taken by Nick Nichols.

"Romans 12:12"

Message summary: Today let us "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer".

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"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer" (Romans 12:12).

Romans 12:12Yesterday we shared about our friend, Nick, who fell as he was dismounting his bike Tuesday evening. His fall resulted in needed surgery yesterday morning to repair his broken hip. Brooksyne and Ester saw him yesterday after the surgery and in spite of the pain he expressed a faith-filled outlook. We talked with him this morning and he continues to  deal with substantial pain so we uplift him in prayer as he perseveres in his recovery.

I've been musing on a verse I shared with Nick shortly before his accident. Honestly I can't even recall the context of our conversation but in retrospect the verse seems prescient.

For many years it has been among Brooksyne's most quoted verses when she is ministering to those in need. She often uses post-it notes to share brief words of encouragement with people in the hospital, workplace or in cards she sends. It’s heartening to see these notes attached to people’s computer monitors as we go about our work, some long still posted  after she wrote her note of encouragement.

Romans 12:12 contains three essential keys to personal victory:

Romans 12:12 on post-it note1) "Be joyful in hope" Many versions render the phrase, "rejoicing in hope". The Amplified states, "constantly rejoicing in hope [because of our confidence in Christ]." "Base your happiness on your hope in Christ" (Phillips).

Bible teacher Robert Morgan writes, "When we can’t rejoice in circumstances, we can rejoice in the anticipation of what God’s going to do with them, in them, through them, despite them, and because of them. On cloudy days the sun still shines as brightly as ever in the center of the solar system; and when we rejoice in hope, we’re saying, 'Despite current conditions, the Son is shining for me as brightly as ever with healing in His rays'."

2) "Patient in affliction"  We may wish or feel it's our "right" not to bear afflictions but such a view is Scripturally void. The Psalmist candidly reminds us, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous" (Psalm 34:19). Jesus said, "In the world you shall have tribulation" (John 16:33). Peter writes, "Now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials…" (I Peter 1:6).

In our associations afflictions are generally health related, financial troubles, unfaithful spouses, wayward children, unhealthy addictions, and the list continues. Our brethren over the centuries and many today face these afflictions. But many also deal with persecution which the Apostle Paul likely had in mind when he wrote the daily text. For many years we have been praying concerning the chronically under- reported persecution of Christians in Muslim lands.

3) Faithful in prayer"  Prayer is a foundational expression of our faith. We speak but cannot see the One to whom we speak. We listen, not with our sense of hearing, but rather the inner heart. Scripture says, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth". The effects of our prayers are often not immediate and at times the results seem ambiguous, at least from our perspective. Bluntly we may wonder if prayer really does any good. (More on this in tomorrow's message.)

“Faithful” is in the present imperative which denotes that we are to continually, habitually follow this command! It is to be one’s continual way of life (lifestyle). This Scriptural call is not a suggestion but a command to make it our habitual practice. Remember that whatever God commands of us He also provides the grace and empowerment through His Spirit to carry out.

Today let us "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer".

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, as believers, You have called us to live in such a way that we continually rejoice in hope, persevere in tribulation, and remain steadfast in prayer. The words of John Newton's hymn can spur us on, "Though painful at present, ‘Twill cease before long; And then, oh, how pleasant, The conqueror’s song!" Keep us joyful, enduring, and prayerful is our prayer. Amen.

 Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Living Hope"  Watch video on YouTube  Phil Wickham

"Faithful"  Watch video on YouTube  Erik Nieder

"Hold On"  Watch video on YouTube  Selah

Today we will share some photos we have posted over the years taken by our friend Nick.

Lancaster County farm scene (Nick Nichols)
Even in the relative starkness of late winter Lancaster farm views are beautiful.

Truck and pumpkins (photo by Nick Nichols)
An old Chevy truck and pumpkins! The Chevrolet insignia is still in fine condition on the side of the hood. Chevrolet vehicles have been associated with the famous bow tie emblem since 1913, which makes it one of the longest-standing logos in the world.

Stone wall in farmhouse in Mount Joy, PA (photo by Nick Nichols)
A wall in Mount Joy, PA farmhouse

Strasburg train (Photo by Nick Nichols)
The Strasburg railroad steam engine.

Lancaster County farm scene
A Lancaster County farm scene amidst a beautiful sky background.

Conny's service
Lancaster Two years ago I had the honor of officiating the service of Nick's wife Conny at Fort Indiantown Gap National Veterans Cemetery. These beautiful burial grounds are located at the base of Blue Mountain. Nick met Conny in Germany while serving in the military and asked for her hand in marriage which lasted 60 years before her death.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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