"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" (Romans 12:11-12 NIV).
It is with the zeal that you are to keep serving the Lord by praying, reading the Bible, and being Jesus' ambassador on this earth. I believe it is very difficult sometimes to keep the zeal Paul talks about here. Life lambastes you at times with problems of some sort and it is very easy to lose your zeal as well as your hope. There are times when it might feel as if you can't seem to even smile because of all the difficulties you face. Paul's words encourages us to remain faithful, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God" (Col. 3:16 NIV).
Paul and Silas are great examples of this, according to Acts 16: 22-40, when they prayed and sang after they were put in jail. They could have decided to sit and mourn their situation, but instead, they used this very dreary experience to witness by praying out loud and singing hymns to the Lord. They are an example of the way a person can overcome impossible situations by trusting in the Lord.
When you feel overwhelmed to the point of giving up, think back on all the ways the Lord has blessed you and take hope in the fact that the Lord is just a prayer away. He will help you to find peace in this situation. Paul and Silas were able to save the jailer and his household because they prayed and sang praises to the Lord while they were in that jail. You can be a witness to others by the way you handle your times of stress. Just remember to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.
Help me to serve you with zeal even when I feel that the trials and tribulations are too much to bear. I know that you will never leave me or forsake me. Help me to sing praises to you in the middle of my darkest moments knowing that you hear and will rescue me.
In Jesus' name,
My husband and I have been in the ministry in one form or another for 37 years. I have had several poems published in the local newspaper. I write devotionals for my co-workers and friends. I own this article and have full rights.