“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
These three exhortations are in the heart of the long list of attributes that ought to be characteristics of Christians who have, indeed, offered their bodies as living sacrifices to their Lord and Savior (Romans 12:1).
That a Christian can rejoice during times of tribulation is one of the greatest evidences of the reality of his hope. There is a time of great tribulation yet to come on the ungodly world (Matthew 24:21), but most Christians (having lived and died during previous generations) will not go through that tribulation. Nevertheless, every true Christian, in every generation, must undergo some measure of tribulation (Acts 14:22), because “the servant is not greater than his Lord” (John 15:20). Nevertheless, we “rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Romans 5:2–4).
But patience in tribulation and a joyful hope in Christ surely presuppose a life in close communion with God. The privilege of “continuing instant in prayer” is possible because of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in each believer. No matter where we are, or how softly the prayer is spoken, He is able to hear. The words “continuing instant in” represent just one Greek word, meaning, literally, “ever enduring in.” The picture is one of being always ready to pray, whenever the need appears. The same urgent readiness is implied in Paul’s exhortation to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). We must work, and sleep, and do many other things, but all things should be done as if in the very presence of God—for we are in His presence. Therefore, “in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). HMM