Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer – Romans 12:12
Meaning of Romans 12:12
The verse Romans 12:12 is meant to be an encouragement to the readers. The meaning of ‘Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer’ is that a Christian must find self-motivation in a difficult situation. Also, Christians must rely on God through every hardship, have faith and be patient. Here the author Paul also uses short verses to teach Christians about how to serve God at all times. In other words, Romans 12:12 mean he or she must not be sad or worried when facing disappointments in life, and the best way to overcome such challenges is to communicate with God through prayer.
Interpretations of Romans 12:12
The verse Romans 12:12 is written in short phrases and is also one of the most used verses in the church. A few interpretations of the verse are as follows.
Interpretation #1 Christians must remain joyful in every situation
This version of the verse is mostly taught in the churches to motivate Christians to find positivity or meaning even amidst loss or disappointments. Here the phrase ‘Rejoicing in hope’ means to have faith in God and also remain happy. Thus Christians are taught to be happy to avoid getting depressed or complaining when things go wrong. Hence, in this interpretation, the reader understands that by being happy and hopeful in difficult times, God will eventually help them overcome it.
Interpretation #2 Impatient Christians are disobedient
In this interpretation, the reader believes that a Christian who doesn’t learn to be hopeful in Jesus Christ is indirectly disobeying God’s commandments. Also, the priests in churches teach that ‘patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer’ is a direct commandment from God. Based on these phrases, the members of the church organize prayer groups to constantly pray to God in order to see the spiritual resolution for situations like sickness, career, or marriage.
Interpretation #3 Christians are constantly tested
In this interpretation, the readers believe that the author is asking Christians to be ready or be on guard to face any kind of challenge. The church also agrees that Christians have a common enemy, Satan, who wants them to suffer. Hence the verse ‘Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer’ appears like a suggestion as well as a warning. Christians, out of fear of temptation or loss, believe in this verse as an instruction. Thus, the reader understands that he or she must practice being hopeful and patient while being consistent in prayer.
Interpretation #4 The verse is a key to true happiness
Here the reader understands that the best way to live a happy life is to have total dependence on God. The verse Romans 12:12 has three commandments in short that encourage Christians in their daily life. In this interpretation, ‘Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer’ means that a believer must always maintain a positive attitude and never give up. This commandment is followed by asking a person to be patient during challenges. The final commandment is to pray for every situation, whether good or bad. This way, Christians can build a good relationship with God and maintain communication with Him.
Historical background of Romans 12:12
The book of Romans was written by Apostle Paul between 57 – 59 A.D. to the church in Rome during his time in Corinth. The church in Rome was likely active for a few years since the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The book of Romans is also one of the most-read books in the New Testament. In Romans Chapter 12, apostle Paul encourages the readers to stay in faith and focus on God. Romans 12:12 is known as the three short commandments. However, it can also be taken as a summary of the teachings that are highlighted throughout the book of Romans. Here Paul is asking Christians to be strong and positive with faith in God and constantly communicate with God through prayer.
Literary Devices of Romans 12:12
Romans 12:12 has three important instructions for Christians’ positive life. A few literary devices are given below.
Theme – The major themes of Romans 12:12 are faith and communication.
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer
Consonance – The verse has good use of consonant sounds in repetitions and a few in quick successions. For example, the sound of /p/, the sound of /n/, the sound of /t/, and the sound of /r/ in ‘Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer’.
Assonance – The verse also uses repeated vowel sounds, and a few are in quick succession. For example, the sound of /i/, the sound of the /oo/, and the sound of /ee/ in ‘Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer’.
Asyndeton – The verse is a good example of asyndeton as there is a deliberate omission of conjunctions.