“Patience In Pain” ( Romans 12:12, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.”

Paul doesn’t say “rejoice in affliction.” He doesn’t expect himself or others to revel in misery. Rather he calls us to “rejoice in hope,” in the hope of our salvation primarily but even in our walk with God. He says to us, ‘yes, you have pain here’ but you must be patient as you tread through it, and “be persistent in prayer.”

Prayer is one expression of hope. As we pray, we anticipate a positive answer — and even if the answer is negative, we long for God’s listening ear and the quieting of His voice: “Be still, and know that I Am God.”

If we turn to the left, He whispers. If we turn to the right, He may shout. At least we know He is always with us, “even to the ends of the earth.”

“Joy In Hope, Patience In Affliction” ( Psalm 27: 14, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“Wait for the Lord; be strong, take courage, and wait for the Lord.”

I can’t think of more comforting and yet challenging words than these. We are reminded that God acts; He is not idle. But the call to wait for the Lord, to be strong and take courage also implies that something difficult, even painful has entered our lives. We are staggering; we are fainting from woe. We can barely eat; we do not know the comfort of sleep. We each cry out, “I am wearied with groaning; all night long my pillow is wet with tears, I soak my bed with weeping. Grief dims my eyes; they are worn out with all my woes.” (Psalm 6: 6-7)

The comfort is that “though [our] fathers and [our] mothers forsake [us], the Lord takes [us] into His care.” (Psalm 27:10) In the Lord, “[we] find refuge.” (Psalm 7: 1) Yet, often we are left feeling abandoned, crying out: “When my prayer comes back unanswered, I walk with head bowed in grief as if for a brother; as one in sorrow for his mother I lay prostrate in mourning… O Lord, how long wilt Thou look on at those who hate me for no reason?” (Psalm 35: 13-14, 17)

We must remain “joyful in hope, patient in affliction” writes Paul. (Romans 12:12, NIV) This joyful hope as we wrestle with pain and a feeling of unanswered prayer is the essence of our faith, our belief in the essential goodness of our God. Without this faith, we are unable to “be strong” or to “take courage.” Without this faith in God’s perfection, we do not “wait for the Lord.”

Know that God is good, that He loves us beyond measure, beyond comprehension. Like the psalmist, we each must say: “But for my part I trust in Thy true love. My heart rejoices, for Thou hast set me free. I sing to the Lord, who grants all my desire.” (Psalm 13:5-6)

“Joy Is Possible” (Romans 12: 12, HCSB) by Carley Evans


Paul expects us to “rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.” Our hope rests on the finished work of Jesus Christ. Therefore, joy is possible. In moments of pain, our patience emerges from Christ’s own patience as He endures the Cross. Our prayer life is also continuous and persistent as we walk within the power of the Holy Spirit.

Be joyful, be patient, be persistent. “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” (Romans 12: 21)

“Pricked In Our Hearts” (Psalm 73: 25 – 26, ESV) by Carley Evans


No one compares to God, sings the psalmist. Only He is worth having. The psalmist cries out, “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You.”

The psalmist knows that though his flesh fails him, “God is the strength of [his] heart, and [his] portion forever.”

Often, our flesh must fail us before we seek God. Out of physical, emotional, psychological miseries, we begin to question. We ask, “why me?” We wonder, “what’s the point of all this pain?” We get mad. Sometimes, we discover we are actually angry at a person. Who is this person?

Sometimes, we discover we are mad at an unseen God, a Someone we do not know or understand. What we do with that anger is often what separates those of us who discover God from those of us who reject Him.

Why do some recognize God as love, while others mistake Him for a misanthrope?

To know God as love is to be grateful to Him for the gift of redemption, for the greater gift of life eternal.

The same psalmist sings, “When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward You. Nevertheless, I am continually with You; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will receive me to glory.” (Psalm 73: 21 – 24)

“Words In Season” (Proverbs 15: 23, ESV) by Carley Evans


One of the most difficult moments in a shared life is when someone else is hurting and you are seeking right and comforting words to speak. When and if you find those words, words which touch the other; you find joy. Your “word in season, how good it is!”

We’ve all experienced this. Someone close to us loses a child. Another deals with intractable pain. A husband commits adultery, abandoning the wife of his youth. A young adult commits suicide.

Every one of us has been in pain, and every one of us has sought the best words to speak to the other who is in pain.

Our “word in season, how good it is!”

Thank You, Lord that You promise to give us the right words.