“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
In this verse Paul is in the middle of a section of exhortations. It’s in the last section of the letter to the church in Rome, after all the theological explanation about how we’re saved through Jesus, by grace, through faith, and have a wonderful, secure hope. He’s getting to the part where he’s saying, “because of all those wonderful spiritual truths, this is how you should live.”
And these three little statements are part of that. But it’s nice just to think about this little part, because it kind of sums things up.
So the hope that we have, the hope of eternal life and a perfect existence, which we have through Christ, should cause us to rejoice.
If we are going through tribulation (which means pain, suffering and tough times) we should be patient. Our Heavenly Father will sort it all out one day, because we know He loves us.
And at all times, through all situations, whether happy or sad, when life is easy or hard, we should be constant in prayer. That doesn’t mean praying every minute of every day! That means that we should be consistently, every day, for everything, speaking to God and asking for help, thanking him, asking for wisdom, asking to know the right thing in every situation.
I’m not as good as I should be at this, but that’s why we need to be exhorted, and listen to the exhortations in the Bible. And as we pray that the Holy Spirit will help us get better, God will hear our prayer and will help us.