May 17, 2021
The Secret Sauce to Living in Difficult Seasons
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble and keep on praying. (Romans 12:12, NLT)
Friend to Friend
When my special needs daughter, Taylor, was ages 4-6, she could sing like a little bird. From If You’re Happy and You Know It to I Love You, You Love Me, she knew dozens and dozens of songs and everywhere she went, she sang. She often sang herself to sleep.
I will never forget the last time she sang Jesus Loves Me all the way through. Not long after that, disease stole her words. While she could no longer sing, she still loved to listen to music. In the last weeks of her life as her suffering grew worse, when we played praise music in her room, I could feel a difference in the tension of her body.
There are seasons of life when daily living seems impossible. Maybe you are living in one right now. God’s Word is so practical in those moments. Today’s key verse, Romans 12:12, shows us how to live when it seems like there is no way out of a situation and life seems to have been placed on pause. This succinct verse of just three phrases tells us what to do when daily living feels overwhelming.
Paul, the author of Romans, knew that the gospel he shared would require a sacrifice. He began chapter 12 with that very appeal: “Present your bodies a living sacrifice.”
In other words, life won't be perfect once we accept Jesus into our lives.
In the first eleven verses of Romans, Paul writes truth bomb after truth bomb. By the time Paul arrives at verse 12, however, it feels to me like he is whispering an enormously big secret. Like Paul’s sharing his secret sauce!
First, he says “Rejoice in confident hope.” The word “rejoice” means to be incredibly happy about something or to be overjoyed. Rejoicing in our confident hope simply means that we praise God not only for what He does or doesn’t do, but we praise Him for Who He is and what we know He is capable of. We can praise Him for what we don’t know that He does know. We can praise Him for having all the power in His hands.
Praising God on the darkest of days is both pivotal and powerful!
It changes our focus from what we want to see in a situation to anticipating with open eyes what God has for us. We can draw confidence from God’s never-changing character.
The middle section of Romans 12:12 says “Be patient in trouble.”
When things seem out of control, God is always in control.
His goal is not to change situations, but to change hearts.
When I’m tempted to rush ahead of the Lord, Paul’s encouragement is to take one day at a time, one moment at a time.
Paul’s final ingredient to the secret sauce? “Keep on praying.”
When you don’t know what else to do, when life is upside down and it seems there is no end in sight, just keep on praying. Keep the communication flowing from your heart to the heart of God. Even if the emotions you feel aren't pleasant, the Lord longs to hear from you because you're His daughter.
Our family has had to learn how to live without our Taylor, as God called her home to heaven after giving us the privilege of caring for her for 22 years. I can tell you from experience that prayer trumps panic, every time.
Patience triumphs over pain.
Praising God transcends His power into our lives, aligning our hearts with His and defeating trials and temptations. So, let's embrace prayer, patience, and praise as purposeful and powerful tools to keep moving us and our families forward. Each new day is a gift from God and we should praise Him for it.
Lord, I want to partake in Paul’s secret sauce of praise, patience, and prayer. When I’m tempted to wallow in pain, bring a fresh dose of praise to my heart. When I’m tempted to rush ahead of your plan, overwhelm my soul with patience. When shutting down seems like a good plan, help me remember that prayer is my lifeline.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Which portion of Paul’s secret sauce is meeting you where you are today? Share it in the comments!
More from the Girlfriends
Could you use a little more direction in learning to praise God through the hard? If you enjoyed this devotion, you’ll enjoy Rachel’s FREE Praise Him Anyway Bible Reading plan and journal.
© 2021 by Rachel Wojo. All rights reserved.