We must keep our hope and be patient
Romans chapter 12, verses 11 and 12 “give us four imperatives that are really calls to patience. At first, these two verses only seem to be about our relationship to God, but we must notice that they stand in the middle of numerous directions about Christian relationships. Therefore, Paul is really exhorting us to use all our spiritual resources not to give up on our Christian brothers and sisters. We must keep our “hope”, be “patient” in all the troubles we meet, and address all this with “prayer.” How does this relate to Christian fellowship? Perhaps Paul just means that we are to be models to our brothers and sisters when we go through difficulties. But it may be that we are to meet the troubles of Christian relationships with patience and prayer! To be deeply involved in people’s lives is hard work. As C.S. Lewis once pointed out, the only way to be sure not to have your heart broken is never to give it to anyone. Since we will give our hearts to people, our “zeal” (v11) and our “hope” (v12) will flag. We are to remember our hope of triumph through Christ, and meet it with prayer (v12).” -Tim Keller, Romans 8-16 For You
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