12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
We now come to three more exhortations for the church:
Confidence in the future, 12:12a
Consistence under pressure, 12:12b
Constance in prayer, 12:12c
12 Rejoice in [in the sphere of] hope,
On a human level, there was very little hope for people in the first century. However, no matter how bleak their problems, they had a hope that was the basis for Christian rejoicing. Both Hebrew and Greek give the connotation of “hope” as confident trust or sure hope. When the Christian thinks of eternity ahead, he has a sense of joy because he knows he will be with the Lord. When we focus on what we have in Christ, our attitude changes about our current condition.
Hope rests on God’s promises.
Jesus is the basis for our “hope of glory.” Christians have confidence in their future salvation because of Him. This sets us apart from those without Christ. The prospect of death is not as daunting to believers.
Co 1:27, To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Hope in itself is not the object of our joy; it is what Christ has done for us that gives us joy. We have a “living hope” because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. When things get dark for us, we can obtain a greater perspective on life. Biblical hope lifts us out of our present circumstances. The dimension of certainty is at the heart of the believer’s confidence.
Ro 8:24-25, 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Ti 2:13, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
1 Pe 1:3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
The Christian should not let his attitude be bound by the temporal, by present circumstance. The believer has a blessed future, a consummation of all that Christ has provided. There will no longer be a mixture of good and evil, joy and sorrow. Hope is the object toward which our joy fixes itself. It is the ground of our joy.