“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
There may come a point this year where you hit a wall of exhaustion, and you’re tempted to believe that you can’t make it through. But there’s a special sauce for building endurance for the challenges you’ll face in life, and the apostle Paul shares the three ingredients for it in Romans 12:
Rejoice in hope: Hope might seem non-existent right now, but pause and remember what your hope is and where it comes from. Your hope is in God. He has you here for a reason. He sees you. He is with you. He will sustain you even if this is the hardest time of your life.
Be patient in tribulation: James 5 gives us a great picture of what it looks like to remain patient: He explains how the farmer waits with patience for the “precious fruit of the earth” awaiting the early and late rains. The farmer knows that shaking his fist at the sky and stomping around won’t help the rain come down or his crops grow up. He is able to wait with patience because he knows that God is compassionate and merciful (James 5:11).
Be constant in prayer: Call out to Jesus. He sees you. He hears you! He knows you and loves you. Even if you don’t know what to say other than a frantic “HELP!” remember this truth: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27)
Do you know why these three go together so well? Because they build on each other to create a cycle of endurance: The more you rejoice in the hope you have in God’s ability to carry you and sustain you, the more patience you have to press on in the midst of hardship. The harder your circumstance, the more constant you find yourself crying out to God through prayer. With prayer, the Holy Spirit is interceding for you according to the very will of God—you can’t help but become more aware of your hope.
Repeat this cycle over and over again, knowing that the fruit of your reliance on God is endurance.