Be Patient in Suffering

March 7, 2024

Today, as we continue our One Thought from Romans 12 series, we come to the middle phrase of verse 12. The English Standard Version translates this phrase like the good ol' King James Version does: "Be patient in tribulation."

But that word "tribulation" isn't used very often in our everyday vernacular anymore. So I became curious what other English translations had. Among many, I found...

  • "Endure in suffering" (NET Bible)
  • "Patient in affliction" (NIV)
  • "Persevering in tribulation" (NASB)
  • "Don’t quit in hard times" (The Message)

Hold On!

Be Patient In Suffering • Riverwood Church

It goes without saying: We all go through difficulty. Whether due to a strained relationship, an empty bank account, a physical or mental health battle, or simply because you were brought from a warm womb into the cold air of the hospital, you know the personal experience of fighting through emotional pain.

In this short three-word phrase in Romans 12:12, God is calling His followers to hold on, to keep going, to endure the struggle patiently. But that is easier said than done! Is "holding on" merely foolishness or a call to blind, thoughtless faith? No! If you live out last week's phrase (rejoice in hope), you don't just "hope" God will get you through the battle, you know He is with you through the battle.

Let Him Work

This call to persevere, however, is not simply a reminder to trust God. It is also an invitation to allow God to work in you. As James 1:2-4 so boldly proclaims...

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4 (ESV)

The reason God invites you to patiently persevere through your suffering is because He is not only with you, He is working in you, making you "perfect and complete." In other words, God is using your suffering to make you more like Christ. And that's a good thing, even a GREAT thing!

So hold on! Be patient in your suffering. Because it will pass, whether this week, this year, this life, or in the afterlife. And as you patiently suffer, Christ's Spirit will work in you as He helps you through it.

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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