Today’s Scripture Selection: Romans 12:12

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.”

Sometimes I like short sermons that come right to the point.  I can only imagine how many times my listeners have wished I would have done that.

The verse above, written by the apostle Paul, is short and sweet – and full of wisdom.

We are to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.

That’s it – sermon over – now get on with it.

If only it were that simple.

I am sure Paul knew how difficult following these simple instructions could be.  But he also knew what a difference it would make in his readers lives if they would only do it.

Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs.  Sometimes we are so joyful, sometimes we are so despondent, most of the time we are somewhere in between.

But wherever we are – Paul gives us the essential things onto which we must hold: hope, patience, faithfulness.

And he gives us the means: prayer.

Maybe it becomes even clearer by reversing the order of things just a bit:

“So be patient, stay hopeful, and above all pray!”

I know, that’s my translation, and it’s always a little dangerous to come up with our own version of the Scriptures.

But I hope I haven’t missed the mark too much.

Life can be tiring and exacerbating.  It can also be wonderful.

And I believe the way to patiently make our way through it all is solidly connected to hope and faith; or, in other words, solidly connected to GOD.

Prayer: Lord, help me to stay patient and hopeful, always connected to you, in prayer.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: