Daily Archives: August 11, 2020

August 11 Discover God’s Work for You


Ephesians 2:10

We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

So often in the past I have concentrated on this goal and that goal. I’m really into goals and objectives and plans—both in my personal life and as the pastor of a church. But I believe that people should not concentrate so much on the goal as on the power. And as we pray, we may discover that what we thought were great and lofty goals are pale and puny alongside His goals for our life and ministry.

Let us ask God to make us faithful as people of prayer, and let us pray that God will do His work through us. Then, whatever God wants to do, let’s be open to it!

I have no idea what God is up to in your life and mine, but as He works through His mighty Spirit, we are about to find out! I promise you, it will not be on anybody’s chart. You are not going to find a framed copy of it hanging on the wall of some office. God is going to do it in His own way—in startling, unexpected ways—through us as we trust Him and as we pray.[1]


[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 234). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

Laodicean Sellout Max Lucado Joins Up With Black Lives Matter, Preaches Against ‘Christian White Supremacy’ At Freeman Coliseum On Sunday — Now The End Begins

Prominent local pastor and author Max Lucado got down on his knees Sunday in San Antonio to beg forgiveness for his and his white ancestors’ acts of racism and inaction.

When I watched Joel Osteen parading himself through the streets at a Black Lives Matter protest riot last month, I really thought that the pusillanimous evangelical community could not sink any lower. A tip of the hat to hardcore Laodicean Max Lucado for proving me wrong. Max Lucado didn’t just march with the Marxist Black Lives Matter, he got on his knees and begged the BLM domestic terrorists to forgive him for a lifetime of Christian white supremacy.

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:14-16 (KJB)

In a world that is dying and going to Hell, Laodiceans like Joel Osteen, Max Lucado and all the others have no time to preach the gospel of the grace of God. No, instead they are pandering political hacks whose only concern is the preservation of their meal ticket. They preach the deadly ‘love gospel’ while cozying up to whatever is popular at the moment.


Hey, Max Lucado, racism is a terrible thing, but guess what? The Christian church that Jesus Christ shed His blood for is not now racist and has never been racist. Your attempts to attach ‘white guilt’ and the label of ‘systemic racism’ to the Christian church is, well, unforgivable. You do realize that in your rather lengthy prayer you just called all Christians racists, right? Well said Jesus Christ of you and your ilk in Revelation 3 whilst speaking of the lukewarm Laodicean church. Enjoy the spue.

Laodicean Pastor Max Lucado asks forgiveness for Christian white supremacy

FROM SAN ANTONIO REPORT: “I am sorry that I have been silent. I am sorry that my head has been buried in the sand,” Lucado said. “My brothers and sisters are hurting and I am sorry. I have made them to feel less than. I did not help. I did not hear. I did not see. I did not understand.”

Organizers estimated that roughly 3,000 people of all faiths attended the emotional “park-and-pray” event at Freeman Coliseum Sunday evening to follow local faith leaders in prayer to eliminate racism and the coronavirus. At least 23,000 more were watching online.

The End Times Laodicean Church

The Oak Hills Church pastor’s prayer comes amid Black Lives Matter protests and calls for racial equity across the nation. Lucado spoke candidly about the “sin” of racism in and outside of the Church.

“Your church, your pastors, have broken your heart by favoring one skin color over another – oh, Lord God, have mercy on our souls. … How dare we? … How that must nauseate you, O Lord,” he said, adding that those sins extend to brown skin and that he himself has committed them. “The word ‘wetback’ has found its way on my lips, too,” he said. “For that, I’m so very sorry. Would you please, O Lord, bring a new day.”

The program was livestreamed at PraySA.org and on Facebook. People in cars tuned in to local radio station 93.9 FM and were encouraged to text their prayers to 210-791-0193. A second event is scheduled for next Sunday, Aug. 16.

In 2016 Lucado was one of the first evangelical pastors to criticize then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. He made headlines In December when he adapted the story of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus’ escape to Egypt from the book of Matthew as that of a family on a journey through Mexico, fleeing violence from cartels.

Peter Rockwood, who attends Lucado’s church as well as Cross Mountain Church, said he and his wife have been attending church during the pandemic but wanted to participate in this “unprecedented” gathering of diverse faiths and backgrounds. READ MORE

Laodicean Pastor Max Lucado Prays Against Christian White Supremacy At Outdoor Rally

Mixed in with all the ‘white guilt’ and decrying the ‘systemic racism’ of the Christian church, you can watch Max Lucado steal the promises to God made to Israel in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and apply them to America in 2020. 

How to Be a Woke White Person

via Laodicean Sellout Max Lucado Joins Up With Black Lives Matter, Preaches Against ‘Christian White Supremacy’ At Freeman Coliseum On Sunday — Now The End Begins

08/11/2020 — Wretched


•Is “Safe” a new four-letter word?
•Why does the world take Godly things and ruin them?
•Did everybody approve of John Macarthur’s “peaceful protest” line?
•Is Grace Community Church’s decision the right decision for every church?
•NY Times is blaming churches for the pandemic growing
•Is Christianity close to being a persecuted faith in America?
•Feedback review and follow up to “The Church Boy that never grew up.”
•What do young men and young women need?

Download Now (right click and save)

via 08/11/2020 — Wretched

Flashback: Kamala Harris Launched Her Political Career in Bedroom As Mistress of Married Mayor Willie Brown — The Gateway Pundit

Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday.

* * * * * * * * * *

For the record: We completely expect the tech giants to censor and shadow-ban this report as they have to our previous reports on Kamala Harris.
But this is truthful information the public deserves to read.

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown admitted this week to an extramarital affair with Kamala Harris.
Brown also admitted to giving Harris her first state jobs.

In a short article in the San Francisco Chronicle Brown admitted to the extra-marital affair and to appointing Harris to two state commissions.

Yes, we dated. It was more than 20 years ago. Yes, I may have influenced her career by appointing her to two state commissions when I was Assembly speaker.

And I certainly helped with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco. I have also helped the careers of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and a host of other politicians.

The San Francisco Weekly reported on Kamala’s affair with Willie Brown in 2003.

If she can just get out from under this damn Willie Brown thing.

Harris routinely tries to distance herself from her ex-squeeze, whom she hates even talking about. The mere mention of their former liaison makes her shoulders tense, her hands clench, and her eyes narrow.

“I refuse,” she says vehemently, “to design my campaign around criticizing Willie Brown for the sake of appearing to be independent when I have no doubt that I am independent of him — and that he would probably right now express some fright about the fact that he cannot control me.

“His career is over; I will be alive and kicking for the next 40 years. I do not owe him a thing.”

She acknowledges that Brown is an “albatross hanging around my neck” and fears that voters who dislike him will ignore her candidacy — even as she dismisses such an act as irrational. “Would it make sense if you are a Martian coming to Earth that the litmus test for public office is where a candidate is in their relationship to Willie Brown?” Harris asks. “Willie Brown is not going to be around. He’s gone — hello people, move on. If there is corruption, it will be prosecuted. It’s a no-brainer, but let’s please move on.”

Would that politics were so simple.

San Francisco voters tend to have long memories, and Brown himself is complicating Harris’ attempts to shed him politically. He personally gave $500 to her campaign, and a political consultant who worked on both of his mayoral runs is raising money for Harris — without her consent — using a pitch letter signed by Brown. Harris denies asking the mayor for fund-raising help and knows it gives her antagonists even more ammunition.

She also knows there’s not much she can do about it, except to keep saying that the affair is ancient history and that she is a good candidate with good ideas. But as Harris well understands, the more she tries to explain away the Willie factor, the bigger a factor he becomes.

via Flashback: Kamala Harris Launched Her Political Career in Bedroom As Mistress of Married Mayor Willie Brown — The Gateway Pundit

Kamala Harris’s Ties to Marxism — Absolute Truth from the Word of God

When I read that Sleepy Joe Biden came out of the basement to announce his pick for running mate; and then I read that it was Kamala Harris, I knew I needed to uncover her Socialist leanings.

What I didn’t know was how easy it would be to find this information.

Kamala Harris is the daughter of a Marxist Professor.

And because we know that the apple does not usually fall far from the tree – folks, we have a bona fide Marxist running for VP for the Democratic Socialists of America.

Oh, if you asked Sleepy Joe if he is on board with Marxism, you would get the ‘Deer in the headlights look’ as he would attempt to answer. He would forget where he was, and would fumble bumble over Marxism. I actually feel pretty sorry for the man.

From theepochtimes.com

Please note that this article is from 2019 when Harris was running in the Democratic Primaries

Kamala Harris’s Socialist Ties

Red Diaper Baby


Democratic presidential primary front-runner Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) recently told reporters at a campaign stop in New Hampshire that she is “not a democratic socialist.”

The next question should have been obvious: “Well, then, what kind of socialist are you?” (emphasis added)

Harris has been surrounded by socialists and communists her entire life—beginning with her staunchly Marxist father. Harris is the older child of two 1960s Berkeley radicals: Shyamala Gopalan, a cancer researcher from the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India, and Donald J. Harris, an economist from Jamaica. (emphasis added)

Gopalan and Donald Harris were very active during the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War protests of the era, often taking baby Kamala to protests in a stroller, according to a recent article in San Jose daily newspaper The Mercury News on the Harris family.

The couple separated after Donald Harris took a professorship at the University of Madison–Wisconsin. Gopalan filed for divorce in 1971 and won custody of her two daughters in 1973.

Kamala and her younger sister, Maya—now her presidential campaign chair—regularly visited their father during school holidays.

In 1972, Donald Harris left the University of Madison–Wisconsin to begin a visiting professorship of economics at Stanford University.

On Nov. 3, 1976, an article published in the Stanford Daily newspaper claimed that more than 250 students were clamoring for more Marxist perspectives.

Shortly thereafter, a letter was published in the Stanford Daily on Nov. 12, 1976, signed by the Stanford branch of the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE), with signatures from members Bill Dittenhofer, Ari Cohen, Eric Berg, David O’Connor, Arthur Slepian, Sandy Thompson, and Tracy Mott:

“The program in Marxian economics would be much weaker than it is today if had it not been for massive student efforts in the form of petitions, open meetings …

“[It] was only after a divisive one and a one-half year struggle that the opposing elements in the department gave into student pressure and conceded to ‘the appointment of Prof. Donald Harris. Thus the presence of Marxian economists here simply indicates the success of the student struggle. … The recent addition of course offerings in Marxian economics is again a direct result of student pressure, not departmental benevolence.”

After an 18-month campaign by the union, Harris was offered and accepted a permanent professorship.

The URPE (which last year celebrated its 50thanniversary) began in 1968 as a spinoff of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). URPE has overlapped considerably with America’s largest Marxist organization, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), since its founding in 1982. One of professor Donald Harris’s Stanford supporters and URPE letter signatories, Mott, is now a professor at the University of Denver, where he works with local DSA activists.

During the summer and fall of 2006, the DSA’s Political Action Committee helped DSA activists around the country host house parties to raise funds that helped Bernie Sanders become the “sole socialist in the U.S. Senate.”

According to DSA magazine Democratic Left: “Boulder, Colorado, guests braved a downpour to attend the party at the home of Leslie Lomas and hear a talk about giving money by economics professor and socialist Tracy Mott.”

According to The Mercury News: “Several of his former students said it wasn’t accurate to describe him [Donald Harris] as Marxist, although ‘he might have been a lot more sympathetic to Marx than a lot of other economists were at the time,’ said Tracy Mott.”

Mott was being disingenuous. Several Stanford Daily articles at the time described Donald Harris as “Marxist,” and Mott and his friends made it very clear that Harris was hired specifically for his radical ideology. (emphasis added)

Donald Harris wrote papers such as “The Black Ghetto as Colony: A Theoretical Critique” ‎(1972) and “Capitalist Exploitation and Black Labor: Some Conceptual Issues” (1978).

Harris’s Marxism was never questioned or denied at any stage of his career. (emphasis added)

URPE also was very close to the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), once the largest and most influential of the far-left think tanks in Washington. Since its founding in 1963, the IPS has consistently followed a pro-Marxist line on foreign policy, defense, and economic issues. (emphasis added)

To put its policy recommendations into action, the IPS “built networks of contacts among congressional legislators and their staffs, academics, government officials, and the national media,” according to the book “The War Called Peace: The Soviet Peace Offensive.”

The IPS also was on very close terms with representatives of communist Cuba and the former Soviet Union. (emphasis added)

In 1978, in an article in National Review, Brian Crozier, director of the London-based Institute for the Study of Conflict, described IPS as the “perfect intellectual front for Soviet activities which would be resisted if they were to originate openly from the KGB.” (emphasis added)

In the 1988 book “Winning America: Ideas and Leadership for the 1990s,” edited by IPS leaders Marcus Raskin and Chester Hartman, the IPS and DSA affiliate Sean Gervasi recommended a slate of radical colleagues as potential appointees in a hoped-for new Democratic administration after the 1988 election.

Gervasi’s wish list including the following:

• Barry Bluestone—SDS founder, DSA affiliate, URPE member. Served as a member of the senior policy staff of former Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.).

• Gar Alperovitz—IPS, DSA, Brookings Institute.

• Robert Browne—SDS, IPS.

• Jeff Faux—DSA affiliate. Faux has worked as an economist with the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity and the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, and Labor.

Carol O’Cleireacain—DSA member, Brookings Institute. In 2014, she became Detroit deputy mayor for economic policy, planning, and strategy.

• Howard Wachtel—IPS, URPE member.

• Art MacEwan—URPE member, DSA affiliate.

And, of course, Donald Harris, Marxist professor and Kamala Harris’s father. (emphasis added)

Republican George H.W. Bush won the 1988 election, so professor Harris stayed on at Stanford until his retirement.

Ironically, Kamala Harris’s most formidable opponent in the Democratic primary so far is Bernie Sanders, a favorite of professor Harris’s old URPE and DSA colleagues.

When Sanders drops out of a very crowded Democratic primary, will his supporters cross over to support Kamala Harris?

I believe they will. In fact, I believe it has already been decided. source

Obviously, the author of this article was wrong. The Dems decided that Sleepy Joe Biden was their pick. But of course, old Joe was advised to pick a Marxist thinker as his running mate.

Socialism sounds so much kinder that Marxism, doesn’t it? But I like to call a spade a spade.

To me, Ms. Harris is simply a female version of Barack Hussein Obama.

I am praying that we see another Trump victory. But in these crazy days, anything is possible. Aren’t you so glad that we can trust our God who is in full control?   I know I am……

How Can I Be Saved?

Shalom b’Yeshua


via Kamala Harris’s Ties to Marxism — Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Boom! Trump Video on Biden-Harris Ticket Gets Three Million Views in Just Over One Hour of Posting — The Gateway Pundit

A video released by the Trump campaign and tweeted out by President Trump on the newly announced Biden-Harris ticket received three million views in just over an hour of it being released Tuesday afternoon.

A statement accompanying the video reads, “Meet Phony Kamala Harris – With Harris as Joe Biden’s ‘political living will,’ he is surrendering control of our nation to the radical mob with promises to raise taxes, cut police funding, kill energy jobs and open our borders.”

The video ties Biden and Harris to the radical Left taking over the Democratic Party led by socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN).

The video was posted at 4:37 p.m. EDT by the Trump War Room account and tweeted minutes later by President Trump.

As of publication of this article the video had 3 million views with about 100,000 more every few minutes.

Transcript of the Trump ad:

“Kamala Harris ran for president by rushing to the radical left: Embracing Bernie’s plan for socialized medicine, calling for trillions in new taxes, attacking Joe Biden for racist policies.

“Voters rejected Harris. They smartly spotted a phony. But not Joe Biden. He’s not that smart.

“Biden calls himself a transition candidate. He is handing over the reins to Kamala while they jointly embrace the radical left.

“Slow Joe and Phony Kamala. Perfect together, wrong for America.”

Transcribed by TGP.

Screen images from the Trump campaign video.

via Boom! Trump Video on Biden-Harris Ticket Gets Three Million Views in Just Over One Hour of Posting — The Gateway Pundit

President Trump Holds a News Conference – 5:30pm ET Livestream… — The Last Refuge

President Trump holds a press conference at the White House.  Start time 5:30pm ET

WH Livestream LinkAlternate Livestream LinkPBS Livestream Link



via President Trump Holds a News Conference – 5:30pm ET Livestream… — The Last Refuge

HUGE! MSNBC Doctors Image of Biden Calling Kamala Harris and — Doctors Out His Cheat Sheet Script! …Update: Joe Biden Was Holding His Phone Upside-Down — The Gateway Pundit

Wow! What is more pathetic?…

The fact that Joe Biden needs a cheat sheet script to ask Kamala Harris to be his running mate… Or the fact that CNN doctored the image!

Joe Biden called Kamala Harris to ask her to be his running mate in a staged made for media moment.

Biden had a cheat sheet on his desk so he wouldn’t forget where he was.

But as Jack Posobiec pointed out — CNN doctored the image to remove Biden’s cheat sheet!

MSNBC hid the cheat sheet from the American public.

UPDATE– Take another look and Joe Biden was holding his phone upside down.

via HUGE! MSNBC Doctors Image of Biden Calling Kamala Harris and — Doctors Out His Cheat Sheet Script! …Update: Joe Biden Was Holding His Phone Upside-Down — The Gateway Pundit

Biden’s Staff Gave Him A Script So He’d Know Why He Was Calling Kamala Harris — The Federalist

Biden’s Staff Gave Him A Script So He’d Know Why He Was Calling Kamala Harris

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s staff appeared to give him a scriptduring his call with California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris selecting her as his November running mate Tuesday.

The photos show Biden, 77, holding a phone upside down, likely to place the microphone closer to the speakers of the computer showing Harris’s face.

The pictures fuel doubts over Biden’s cognitive capabilities as the presumptive Democratic nominee runs a nationwide campaign for Oval Office from his Delaware basement, stumbling in nearly every television interview.

[Follow along with Biden’s best slip-ups here.]

After months of speculation with tight-lipped deliberations and delays in the final stretch, Biden formally announced Harris will be on his vice-presidential ticket less than a week from the Democratic convention.

“I have the great honor to announced that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris – a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants – as my running mate,” Biden wrote on Twitter.

Harris will be the first non-Caucasian woman to run on a major-party presidential ticket in American history. Biden’s pick comes just more than a year after the California Democrat charged Biden with being a racist segregationist on the debate stage.

Tristan Justice is a staff writer at The Federalist focusing on the 2020 presidential campaigns. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

via Biden’s Staff Gave Him A Script So He’d Know Why He Was Calling Kamala Harris — The Federalist

Selfie Love — Wretched

Episode 2624-

Segment 1 (00:00) Todd introduces the concept of selfie culture, and how it ties into the sin of pride, the oldest and most heinous sin to exist. It was what got Satan kicked out of Heaven.

Segment 2 (09:03) Sin is insidious and sneaky, and we may be sinning by taking a selfie without knowing it. Self-promotion can subtly be a sin. Proverbs 27:2 says to “let another praise you, not yourself.”

Segment 3 (18:36) Pride is disgusting to all of us. So then why do we do it when we take a selfie? It is simply more covert than words. Instead, we should constantly lookout for the interests of others. Jesus came to serve. We should study him.

Wretched Surprise! (24:39) Girls taking selfies at a baseball game.

via Selfie Love — Wretched

August 11th The D. L. Moody Year Book


But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.—Daniel 1:8.

I CAN imagine men saying to Daniel, “Look here, young man, you are too puritanical. Don’t be too particular; don’t have too many religious scruples. Bear in mind you are not now in Jerusalem. You will have to get over these notions, now you are here in Babylon. You are not now surrounded by friends and relatives. You are not a Jerusalem prince now. You have been brought down from your high position. You are now a captive. And if the monarch hears about your refusing to eat the same kind of meat that he eats, and to drink the same kind of wine that he drinks, your head will soon roll from off your shoulders. You had better be a little politic.”

But this young man had piety and religion deep down in his heart; and that is the right place for it; where it will grow; where it will have power; where it will regulate the life. Daniel had not joined the company of the faithful few in Jerusalem because he wanted to get into “society,” and attain a position: it was because of the love he had toward the Lord God of Israel.[1]


[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (pp. 137–138). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

August 11, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

rejoice in hope (12:12a)

Living the supernatural life inevitably brings opposition from the world and sometimes even sparks resentment by fellow Christians. Even after years of faithful service to the Lord, some see few, if any, apparent results from their labors. Without hope we could never survive. “For in hope we have been saved,” Paul has already explained, “but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it” (Rom. 8:24–25).

Rejoicing in that hope, we know that, if we are “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,” our “toil is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58). We can therefore look forward to one day hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21). We know that “in the future there is laid up for [us] the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to [us] on that day; and … to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8).

persevere in tribulation (12:12b)

It is because we can rejoice in hope that we also can persevere in tribulation, whatever its form or severity. Because we have perfect assurance concerning the ultimate outcome of our lives, we are able to persist against any obstacle and endure any suffering. That is why Paul could declare with perfect confidence that “we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:2–5).

be devoted to prayer (12:12c)

Doubtless one of the reasons the Lord allows His children to go through tribulation is to drive them to Himself. The believer who has the strength to persevere in trials, afflictions, adversity, and misfortune—sometimes even deprivation and destitution—will pray more than occasionally. He will be devoted to prayer, in communion with his Lord as a constant part of his life. So should we all be, no matter what the circumstances of our lives.

Proskartereō (devoted) means literally to be strong toward something, and it also carries the ideas of steadfast and unwavering. It was with such devoted … prayer that early Christians worshiped, both before and after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 1:14; 2:42). It was to enable the apostles to devote themselves “to prayer, and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4) that deacons were first appointed in the church.

Devoted, steadfast prayer should be as continual a part of a Christian’s spiritual life as breathing is a part of his physical life. The victorious Christian prays “with the spirit and … with the mind” (1 Cor. 14:15). As he prays with his own spirit, he also prays “in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20; cf. Eph. 6:18). He prays “without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Paul therefore admonished Timothy to have “the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands” (1 Tim. 2:8).[1]

12 The nature of “hope” (elpis, GK 1828) as confident expectation is something that should always be the cause of rejoicing. But because hope is in reference to something not yet seen, it can often weaken instead of providing the strength that it should. Hope is meant to sustain the servant of Christ and enable him or her to be “patient in affliction” (thlipsis, GK 2568). Paul brought together the same constellation of ideas earlier in 5:3–4. The last item in these verses is the Christian’s need to be “faithful [proskarterountes, GK 4674; lit., “persevering”] in prayer.” Regular prayer, of course, is a characteristic of the vibrant Christian. In brief, the thrust of vv. 11–12 is that Christians are called to live in a way that is consistent with the grace they have received.[2]

12  The three admonitions in this verse are closely related in both style and content. For hope, endurance, and prayer are natural partners. Even as we “rejoice in hope,” gaining confidence from God’s promise that we will share the glory of God, we recognize the “down side”: the path to the culmination of hope is strewn with tribulations. Paul, ever the realist, knows this; and so here, as he does elsewhere, he quickly moves from hope to the need for endurance.49 At the same time, we realize that our ability to continue to rejoice and to “bear up under” our tribulations is dependent on the degree to which we heed Paul’s challenge to “persist in prayer.” (Note that Paul moves from hope to endurance to prayer also in Rom. 8:24–27.)[3]

12 The next three are also closely related: “rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing stedfastly in prayer”. Hope has reference to the future (cf. 8:24, 25). The believer must never have his horizon bounded by what is seen and temporal (cf. vs. 2). The salvation now in possession is so conditioned by hope that without hope its character is denied; “for in hope were we saved” (8:24). The hope is hope of the glory of God (5:2) and it is one of unalloyed, consummated bliss for the believer. Hope realized will be a morning without clouds; there will be no mixture of good and evil, joy and sorrow. Hence “rejoicing in hope” even now. Hope is not here, however, the object to which rejoicing is directed. In Philippi’s words, “the summons meant is not to joy at hope … but to joy by means or in virtue of hope”. The hope is the cause or ground of the joy. However tried by affliction the reaction appropriate in view of hope is rejoicing. There is no comfort in sorrow except as it is illumined by hope. How eloquent to this effect is Paul’s word elsewhere to believers as they weep over the deceased, “ye sorrow not, even as others, who do not have hope” (1 Thess. 4:13).

“Patient in tribulation.” As Philippi again points out, this is not enduring tribulation but stedfast in tribulation. Our attention had been already drawn to the tribulations characterizing the believer’s pilgrimage and to his attitude toward them (5:3). Paul refers frequently to the affliction which he himself endured (cf. 2 Cor. 1:4, 8; 2:4; 6:4; 7:4; Eph. 3:13; 1 Thess. 3:7). It is also noteworthy how often with different aspects of life in view the apostle’s teaching takes account of the believers’ afflictions (cf. 8:35; 2 Cor. 1:4; 4:17; 8:2; 1 Thess. 1:6; 3:3; 2 Thess. 1:4). These often take the form of persecution and we are reminded that “all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persucution” (2 Tim. 3:12; cf. Rom. 8:35; 2 Cor. 12:10; 2 Thess. 1:4; 2 Tim. 3:11) and that “through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22; cf. Rev. 7:14). The exhortation of the present text evinces the need for constancy and perseverance in what is so pervasive in the life of faith.

The exacting demands involved in the preceding point up the relevance of the next injunction: “continuing stedfastly in prayer” (cf. Acts 1:14; 6:4; Col. 4:2). The measure of perseverance in the midst of tribulation is the measure of our diligence in prayer. Prayer is the means ordained of God for the supply of grace sufficient for every exigency and particularly against the faintheartedness to which affliction tempts us.

It is well to observe the interdependence of the virtues enjoined in this trilogy. How dismal would tribulation be without hope (cf. 1 Cor. 15:19) and how defeatist would we be in persecution without the resources of hope and patience conveyed to us through prayer. The sequence of David’s thought reflects the apostle’s exhortations: “Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands towards thy holy oracle … Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth and with my song will I praise him” (Psalm 28:2, 6, 7).[4]

Ver. 12.—Patience, hope, and prayer. In the preceding verse the active, energetic side of religion is presented with vivacity and completeness. And this is perhaps the most important of all the trustful results of true Christianity. It was an end worthy of the Divine interposition to introduce amongst men the purpose and the power to serve the Lord with fervour and with diligence. Yet this is not all which our religion does for us. Our life is not altogether in our own hands; we cannot control and govern all that concerns us. We have all to learn the lesson that Divine providence has appointed for us; not only to work, but to submit; that we have not only to serve, but to suffer. True religion must give us, not only a law and impulse for fulfilling life’s duties, but also a power by which we shall endure life’s calamities and weakness. However our natural character may make active exertion congenial, however our lot may be, on the whole, one of cheerful and devoted service; there comes a time to all—a time, it may be, of sickness, or of infirmity, of calamity, or of old age—when another aspect of religion must be realized; when we must turn to Christ for grace, that we may be found “in hope joyful, in trial patient, in prayer unwearied.”

  1. To Christians tribulation is Divine discipline. The text implies, not only that the human lot is characterized by affliction, but that affliction is the occasion of the calling forth of Christian virtues. There would scarcely be such an emotion as hope unless the present were a condition from which (in some respects) it is desirable to be released, or, at all events, a condition susceptible of great improvement. Unless we had something to bear, there would be no scope for the virtue of patience. If all things were as we could wish them, if we had nothing to contend with, if nothing occurred to make us feel our own helplessness—in such case prayer would scarcely be felt to be urgently, or at all events constantly, necessary. Life is a very different thing to those who are enlightened by revelation, as this verse conclusively shows us. How truly Christian are these precepts, and how truly Christians those who fulfil them, appears, if we think of the heathen, and realize how they failed alike in patience, in hope, and in prayer. Philosophers inculcated patience in adversity, but they imparted no principle or power which enabled people generally to cherish this disposition. The hope which the unenlightened pagans cherished respected this life alone, and even the wisest and best knew nothing of a hope of immortality so vivid and powerful as to awaken joy. Their prayers were either purely matter of custom and form, or, being addressed to deities morally imperfect and capricious, were faithless, fitful, and uninfluential even upon their own nature. It is the glory of Christianity to have changed all this. Among the lowliest of the Saviour’s followers we find fortitude in the endurance of affliction, arising from the conviction that it is the chastening of a Divine Father. Hope—especially as reaching beyond this brief existence, and as a mighty sustaining power—is a virtue distinctively Christian. Whilst prayer, instead of being an occasional, doubting, and unprofitable exercise, is the atmosphere the Christian breathes, the power which sustains him in all trouble, and which inspires within him a hope founded upon the faithfulness and the promises of his redeeming God.
  2. As respects the present, the Christian is supported by patience. Patience suffers without murmuring the ills which Providence permits. Patience waits for the relief which, in due time, Providence will send. Suffering and waiting complete this unusual virtue. It is not easy for any one to be patient; it is easier to work with diligence and strenuousness than to endure trial without complaint—than to wait until a power not our own shall bring the trial to a close. Christian patience is not a stoical aquiescence in the inevitable, upon the principle “What can’t be cured must be endured” 1. It is the result of a belief in a wise and merciful Providence. We do not bow to fate; we submit to a Father in heaven. Often we cannot understand why he should permit all that befalls us. But faith assures us that the counsels of God towards us are counsels of love. We cannot shut out from the universe the unseen hand that guides and governs all for our highest and eternal good. We believed in our own earthly father’s heart, though sense could never have told us of it; and similarly our souls are patient, because we are assured that a heavenly Parent cares for us, and strengthens and heals as well as smites. 2. It is the fruit of fellowship with Jesus. There was no quality for which our Saviour was more to be admired than for his patience. He was patient with the misunderstandings of his own disciples; he was patient with his enemies and murderers; he was patient under insult and agony. In all this he left us an example; and an apostle prays that God may direct our hearts into the patience of Christ. Many, through faith in the meek and patient Saviour, have been enabled by Divine grace to overcome a naturally impatient and imperious, hasty and violent temper. 3. It is a virtue in which we are instructed and practically disciplined by the Spirit of God. “Tribulation worketh patience.” The lesson is not learned all at once. Let not those dispositions to which it is not naturally easy be discouraged. “Let patience have its perfect work.” Patience is tried, not that it may give way, but that it may be established. It is the handiwork of the living Spirit; and the day shall come when the Maker shall pronounce this and all his works to be very good.

III. As respects the future, the Christian is inspired by hope. Now, hope is an easier and more natural exercise of the human spirit than is patience. A person may rebel and fret under present discipline, and yet may hope for better times.

“… the darkest day,

Live till to-morrow, will have passed away.”

The Christian’s hope is, however, far superior to any other. Whilst he has higher pleasures and stronger supports now, he has brighter prospects for the great hereafter. There are several elements of superiority in this hope. 1. It is well founded, resting as it does upon the faithful promises of God. God is designated “the God of hope.” Hence the Christian’s hope is not vague, but definite; it is not hesitating, but sure. 2. It is hope of grace for all the needs that are to come. This means hope of deliverance from all dangers, support under all difficulties, consolation under all troubles, guidance in all perplexities. 3. It is hope which reaches beyond this present life; such hope as none has been able to inspire but he who “abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light by the gospel.” Hope of rest, of victory, of a kingdom; a hope as “an anchor unto the soul, sure and steadfast, which entereth into that within the veil.” 4. It is hope which brings joy. Making the future real, bringing the future near, hope chases away the gloom and darkness, and creates a spiritual joy, pure, serene, and unspeakable. Thus, in the night, songs of joy and gladness ascend to heaven. “Patience worketh experience, and experience hope.”

  1. By prayer patience is perfected and hope inspired. It is evident that the admonition to prayer is introduced here with a special purpose in view. It is intended to point out to us that the demeanour here commended can only be maintained through cultivating a prayerful spirit. It is not easy, whilst pursuing this pilgrimage, to be patient amidst its difficulties, to be joyful when the present is dark, and the ray of hope alone illuminates the night. Still, though not easy, it is possible. That is to say, it becomes possible by prayer. Grace can be obtained, if sought in God’s appointed way; but it must be sought, not occasionally or fitfully, but steadfastly, perseveringly, constantly, habitually. This is reasonable enough. There is nothing in our condition that should put a close to our prayers, and nothing in our hearts. We do not become independent of the aid which such fellowship with Heaven alone can bring. There is every inducement, in the declarations and promises of God’s Word, to “pray without ceasing,” “always to pray and not to faint.” God’s fatherly heart does not cease to pity; Christ does not cease to intercede for his people. As long as our Lord is on the throne of power, and we are in poverty and need and helplessness, we may well continue our prayers. Private, domestic, and public; silent and uttered; stated and ejaculatory;—the prayers of God’s people are acceptable, and are heard.

Application. 1. The tribulations of life are common to all mankind. Why should any hearer of the gospel endure those tribulations without the grace that can sustain and comfort, the hopes that can animate and inspire? 2. If Christians are weighed down and distressed by the trials of life, is it not because they fail to give heed to the admonitions of God’s Word, because they neglect to use the means of grace and help which are placed within their reach? Tribulation will come. We can be sustained under it only by patience and by hope; and these virtues are the fruits of prayer.[5]

12. Rejoicing in hope, &c. Three things are here connected together, and seem in a manner to belong to the clause “serving the time;” for the person who accommodates himself best to the time, and avails himself of the opportunity of actively renewing his course, is he who derives his joy from the hope of future life, and patiently bears tribulations. However this may be, (for it matters not much whether you regard them as connected or separated,) he first forbids us to acquiesce in present blessings, and to ground our joy on earth and on earthly things, as though our happiness were based on them; and he bids us to raise our minds up to heaven, that we may possess solid and full joy. If our joy is derived from the hope of future life, then patience will grow up in adversities; for no kind of sorrow will be able to overwhelm this joy. Hence these two things are closely connected together, that is, joy derived from hope, and patience in adversities. No man will indeed calmly and quietly submit to bear the cross, but he who has learnt to seek his happiness beyond this world, so as to mitigate and allay the bitterness of the cross with the consolation of hope.

But as both these things are far above our strength, we must be instant in prayer, and continually call on God, that he may not suffer our hearts to faint and to be pressed down, or to be broken by adverse events. But Paul not only stimulates us to prayer, but expressly requires perseverance; for we have a continual warfare, and new conflicts daily arise, to sustain which, even the strongest are not equal, unless they frequently gather new vigour. That we may not then be wearied, the best remedy is diligence in prayer.[6]

Ver. 12 Rejoicing in hope.

  1. What is it to rejoice? 1. Negatively—(1) Not to have the senses pleased. (2) Nor does it consist in the imagination. 2. Positively; it consists in—(1) The removal of sorrow from the heart (Psa. 42:5). (2) The soul’s content and satisfaction (Luke 1:47).
  2. What is hope? It consists in—(1) The belief of good things to be had (1 Pet. 1:13). (2) The expectation of them (Psa. 42:5). (3) Making use of all lawful means for obtaining them (Heb. 10:23–25; Esther 4:14).

III. What is it to rejoice in hope? To rest satisfied with the expectation of the good things God has promised. 1. An interest in Christ (1 Pet. 1:8; Rom. 8:32, 34). 2. The pardon of sin (Psa. 32:5). 3. The love of God (chap. 5:1). 4. The working together of all things for our good (chap. 8:28). 5. Continual supplies of grace (2 Cor. 12:9). 6. A joyful resurrection (1 Cor. 15:19, 20). 7. The enjoyment of God for ever (Psa. 42:2).

  1. What grounds have we to hope for these things, so as to rejoice in it? 1. The faithfulness of God (Tit. 1:2). 2. His power (Matt. 19:26). 3. The merits of Christ (2 Cor. 1:20). Conlusion: Rejoice in hope. 1. Otherwise you dishonour God by mistrusting His promises (chap. 4:20). 2. You dishonour religion by accusing it of uncertainties. 3. You deprive yourself of happiness. 4. The more joyful in hope, the more active in duty. 5. Rejoice in hope now; in sight hereafter. (Bp. Beveridge.)

Rejoicing in hope:

  1. The source of this joy—Hope. 1. Glorious. 2. Certain.
  2. Its nature. 1. Sweet. 2. Solid. 3. Spiritual. 4. Purifying.

III. Its expression. 1. Lively. 2. Practical. 3. Constant.

  1. Its importance to—1. Ourselves. 2. The Church. 3. The world. (J. Lyth, D.D.)

Rejoicing in hope:—1. Hope is an instinct of the soul. “Thou didst make me to hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.” As an instinct—(1) It implies the existence of a prospective good, and the possibility of coming into its possession. (2) It is one of the strongest and most operative forces in our nature. Hesiod tells us, that the miseries of all mankind were included in a great box, and that Pandora’s husband took off the lid, by which means all of them came abroad, but hope remained still at the bottom, 2. The real worth of this instinct to man depends upon the direction it takes. (1) “Wrongly directed, it is a fawning traitor of the mind.” The goodly scenes it spreads out to the soul turn out to be a mere mirage. False hopes are like meteors that brighten the skies of the soul for a moment, only to leave the gloom more intense. They are mere blossoms on fruitless trees, pleasing the eye for the hour, then fading away and rotting into dust. Few things are more distressing than the loss of hope. Longfellow compares it to the “setting of the sun.” Solomon speaks of it as “the giving up of the ghost.” (2) Rightly directed, is among the chiefest of our blessings. It is that which gives sunshine to the sky, beauty to the landscape, and music to life. Such is the hope of which the apostle here speaks. Two things are essential to a “joyous hope.”

  1. A right object. 1. It must not—(1) Be selfish. So constituted is the soul, that the hope that is directed exclusively to its own happiness never satisfies. Down deep in the soul is the feeling that man has to live for something greater and nobler than himself. (2) Be incapable of engaging all our powers. (3) Less lasting than its own existence. Man can never be fully happy whose hope is directed to the transient and the dying. 2. That which will give a joyous hope is moral goodness—assimilation to the image of God.
  2. A certain foundation. Unless a man has good reason to believe that the object he hopes for is to be gained, he cannot rejoice in his hope. Three reasons for believing that a soul, guilty and depraved, can be brought into possession of true goodness, and restored to the very image of God, are—1. The provisions of the gospel. The life and death of Christ, the agency of the Spirit, and the disciplinary influences of human life are all divinely appointed methods to re-create the soul and to fashion it into the very image of God. 2. The biographies of sainted men. History abounds with examples of bad men becoming good. 3. The inward consciousness of moral progress. The man who has got this hope is conscious that he has made some progress, and that the steps he has taken have been the most difficult. His past efforts are aids and pledges to future success. (D. Thomas, D.D.) Patient in tribulation:
  3. What are tribulations? Whatsoever—1. Is hurtful to us. 2. Vexeth us.
  4. What is it to be patient? 1. Not to murmur against God (Exod. 16:3). 2. Nor despair of deliverance (Psa. 42:5). 3. Nor use unlawful means to get out of them. 4. To rest satisfied with them (1 Sam. 3:18). 5. To be thankful for them (Job 1:21, 22; 1 Thess. 5:18).

III. Why are we to be patient? 1. They come from God (2 Sam. 16:10–12; Psa. 39:2). 2. Are no more (Lam. 3:39), but less than we deserve (Ezra 9:13). 3. Impatience does not heighten them. 4. By patience we change them into mercies as in Job, Joseph, David. Conclusion: Be patient. 1. No afflictions but others have borne (1 Pet. 4:12; 5:9). 2. Christ has undergone more than we can (chap. 8:29; 1 Pet. 2:23; 4:13). 3. God knows how to deliver us (2 Pet. 2:9). 4. By patience you make a virtue of necessity. 5. Will do you much good by them (Heb. 12:6–8). (Bp. Beveridge.)

Patient in tribulation:

  1. Tribulation is unavoidable in this life. 1. Ordained of God. 2. For wise purposes.
  2. Should be borne with patience. 1. Not indifference. 2. But in silence. 3. Without repining. 4. With resignation.

III. The reasons. 1. God is kind. 2. Life is but a probationary state. 3. Consolations are provided. 4. The results are glorious. (J. Lyth, D.D.)

Patient in tribulation:—Some have floated on the sea, and trouble carried them on its surface, as the sea carries cork. Some have sunk at once to the bottom, as foundering ships sink. Some have run away from their own thoughts. Some have coiled themselves up in stoical indifference. Some have braved the trouble, and defied it. Some have carried it, as a tree does a wound, until by new wood it can overgrow and cover the old gash. A few in every age have known the divine art of carrying sorrow and trouble as wonderful food, as an invisible garment that clothed them with strength, as a mysterious joy, so that they suffered gladly, rejoicing in infirmity, and, holding up their heads with sacred presages whenever times were dark and troublous, let the light depart from their eyes, that they might by faith see nobler things than sight could reach. (H. W. Beecher.)

Patient in tribulation:—All birds when they are first caught and put into the cage fly wildly up and down, and beat themselves against their little prisons; but within two or three days sit quietly on their perch, and sing their usual notes with their usual melody. So it fares with us, when God first brings us into a strait; we wildly flutter up and down, and beat and tire ourselves with striving to get free; but at length custom and experience will make our narrow confinement spacious enough for us; and though our feet should be in the stocks, yet shall we, with the apostles, be able even there to sing praises to our God. (Bp. Hopkins.) Continuing instant in prayer.

  1. What is prayer? 1. The hearty desire. (1) Mental (1 Sam. 1:13; Eph. 5:10). (2) Oral (John 17:5). 2. Of necessary things. (1) Spiritual, for the life to come. (a) Sense of sin (Luke 13:3). (b) Faith in Christ (Luke 17:5). (c) Pardon of former transgressions (Psa. 51:9). (d) Subduing present corruptions (Psa. 19:12, 13; 119:133). (e) The continual influences of His grace and spirit (Psa. 51:10; Luke 11:13). (2) Temporal, for this life (1 Tim. 4:8; Prov. 30:8). 3. From God. (1) God alone is to be worshipped (Matt. 4:10). (2) God alone understands our prayers (Isa. 63:16). (3) He alone can answer them (Psa. 65:2). (4) He commands us to call to Him (Jer. 33:3; Psa. 50:15). (5) Christ directs us to pray to Him (Matt. 6:9). See the error of Papists, who pray to the Cross. To the Virgin Mary, &c. St. Roche for the plague. St. Apollonia for the toothache. St. Eulogius for horses. St. Anthony for hogs. St. Gallus for geese, &c.
  2. Why should we pray? 1. God hath commanded it (1 Thess. 5:17). 2. Encouraged us with a promise (Psa. 50:15; Matt. 7:7). 3. Made it the condition of all promises (Ezek. 36:37). 4. It is part of Divine worship. 5. Hereby we give glory to God. (1) Of omnipresence (Psa. 139:2, 3). (2) Of omniscience (Psa. 139:7). (3) Of omnipotence. 6. All blessings are sanctified by it (1 Tim. 4:5). 7. Only by this we acknowledge our dependence upon Him.

III. How should we pray. 1. Before prayer, consider (Psa. 10:17). (1) Who is it you go to pray to (Exod. 34:6). (2) What you have to pray for (1 John 5:14). (3) How unworthy you are to ask or receive (Gen. 32:10). (4) That Christ is interceding for you (Eph. 3:12; Heb. 7:25). 2. In prayer. (1) Pray with that humility, reverence, and submission, as becomes a sinful creature (Gen. 18:27; Luke 18:13; Ezra 9:6). (2) Utter nothing rashly before Him, nor mingle stories with petitions (Eccles. 5:1, 2). (3) Let every petition proceed from the heart (John 4:24). (4) Pray only in the name of Christ (John 14:13, 14; 16:23; Heb. 7:25). (5) Let your affections and apprehensions go together (1 Cor. 14:15). (6) Pray in faith (Mark 11:24; James 1:6). (7) Without wrath (1 Tim. 2:8; Matt. 6:14, 15). (8) For others as well as for yourselves (1 Tim. 2:1; Eph. 6:18). (9) To the right end (James 4:3). (10) Add praise to prayers (Phil. 4:6; 1 Tim. 2:1). (a) Praising God is all that He expects for His mercies. (b) It is the best sacrifice we can offer (Psa. 69:30, 31). (c) It is the work of Heaven (Rev. 7:9, 10; 19:1). 3. After prayer. (1) Consider what you have prayed for. (2) Expect it (Psa. 5:3). (3) Use means for obtaining it.

  1. When should we pray? Or how continue instant in prayer (Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17). 1. Be always in a praying frame. 2. Take all occasions of praying. 3. Never faint in prayer (Luke 18:1; 2 Cor. 12:8, 9). 4. Make prayer your daily exercise. (1) We must serve God daily (Luke 1:75). (2) The sacrifices of the Old Testament were daily (Numb. 28:3; Acts 3:1). (3) Christ directs us to ask our daily bread (Matt. 6:11, 33). (4) The saints in all ages prayed daily (Psa. 55:17; 119:164; Dan. 6:10; 1 Kings 8:48; Luke 2:37). (5) The heathen and the Turks do it. (6) We need daily mercies. (7) We receive them. 5. Objection. I have oft prayed, but am never heard (Job 21:15). (1) However, we are bound to serve God. (2) If we get no good it is our own fault. (a) As to the matter (1 John 5:14). (b) Means (James 1:6). (c) End, of prayer (James 4:3). (3) Perhaps you never expected it. (4) Or have not used the right means for it. (5) You have not prayed long enough (2 Cor. 12:9; Luke 18:1). (6) Though you have not received that required, you have other mercies (2 Cor. 12:9). (7) You may be answered, and not know it. Conclusion: Continue instant in prayer. 1. Otherwise ye live in continued sin. 2. Prayer is the most honourable work. 3. The most pleasant (Psa. 84:10). 4. The only way of getting real mercies (James 1:5). 5. Right praying is a sign of a true convert (Acts 9:11). (Bp. Beveridge.)

Instant in prayer:—Prayer is the natural duty of religion. Its observance is as natural as conversation between men. The Scriptures urge a constant and careful performance, then, not only as a duty, but a privilege. The subject suggests an inquiry as to—

  1. The matter and subject of prayer. 1. Generally, it is to petition God to bestow upon us all that is good, and to deliver us from all that is evil: the pursuit of virtue, the direction of our affairs, immortal happiness. 2. Particularly, our own individual requirements, according to our particular weaknesses and difficulties, should form the groundwork of our petitions.
  2. The specific directions of the apostle—“Continuing instant.” We are not to make it a mere formal duty. It is to be the constant effort and breath of our very existence. We are hereby taught—1. That worldly duties are not inconsistent with heavenly thoughts. 2. That God may be worshipped at all times. 3. That religion is not a thing to be put off till we have leisure and opportunity.

III. The contrast which this direction affords to all false systems. We are taught that God is worshipped by the mind and thoughts, and not by external observances. How different to heathen worship! Even the Jews’ religion was, to a great extent, formal. (J. Jortin, D.D.)

Instant in prayer:—When a pump is frequently used, but little pains are necessary to have water; the water pours out at the first stroke, because it is high. But if the pump has not been used for a long while, the water gets low, and when you want it you must pump a long while, and the water comes only after great efforts. It is so with prayer; if we are instant in prayer, every little circumstance awakens the disposition to pray, and desires and words are always ready. But if we neglect prayer it is difficult for us to pray; for the water in the well gets low. (Felix Neff.) Instant in prayer doesn’t exactly mean that we should be praying every instant, though we can be doing that also, but not if we are to think a prayer, or speak a prayer, for how could we then be getting on with other things that need all our attention at the time? But there are prayers that are not spoken or even thought of. You have seen the mariner’s compass. When the ship is tossing about, the compass trembles and swings to and fro, but it always comes back and points straight to the north. That’s where it wants to go to; every time it points to the north it seems to pray, “Let me go there!” Now why is this needle so constant about this wish to go northward? Because it has got in it a spirit that belongs to the distant Pole, and so, even while it is busy in telling the sailors how to steer, it is itself always turning to the north, because its life lies that way. So we may be very busy about other things, and need to fix all our attention upon them; but if our heart is right with Jesus, we shall be always wanting to do things for His sake, and do them right; and that big wish that is always in the heart is a continual prayer. (J. R. Howat.)

Instancy in prayer:

  1. The import of the injunction. This is indicated by the employment of the word in other Scriptures (e.g., Acts 1:14; 2:42; Rom. 13:6; Acts 8:13; 10:7; Eph. 6:18). These show the meaning of the word; steadfastness or perseverance as a habit. In this sense the passage has many parallels (Eph. 6:18; Philip. 4:6; 1 Thess. 5:17). In the widest sense, therefore, the injunction lays upon us—1. The habitual maintenance of a prayerful spirit. 2. The embracing of opportunities for prayer. 3. The improvement of occasions of prayer. You will find these everywhere, in the commonest experiences of every day. 4. Watchfulness.
  2. Considerations by which the injunction may be commended and enforced. 1. What a mighty power of restraint would such an “instancy of prayer” exercise! 2. What a spiritual elevation! 3. What peace amid conflicting cares! 4. What strength! (J. M. Jarvie.)

Prayer, daily:—As those who keep clocks wind them up daily, lest the weights should run down, and the clock stop; so we must set apart some portion of every day for meditation and prayer, lest our hearts should so far descend, through the weight of the cares of this world, that our course in godliness should be hindered and stopped. (Cawdray.)

Prayer hindered, not defeated:—For so I have seen a lark rising from his bed of grass and soaring upwards, singing as he rises, and hopes to get to heaven, and climb above the clouds; but the poor bird was beaten back with the loud sighings of an eastern wind, and his motion made irregular and inconstant, descending more at every breath of the tempest than it could recover by the liberation and frequent weighing of his wings, till the little creature was forced to sit down and pant, and stay till the storm was over; and then it made a prosperous flight, and did rise and sing, as if it had learned music and motion from an angel, as he passed sometimes through the air about his ministries here below. So is the prayer of a good man. (Jeremy Taylor.)

Prayer, nightly:—It is said of that good old man, John Quincy Adams, that he never went to his rest at night until he had repeated the simple prayer learned in childhood—the familiar “Now, I lay me down to sleep.”

Perpetual prayer:

  1. What is here required? 1. Continuance in personal and secret prayer primarily. In these times Christ’s saying is reversed. Men seem to say, If you pray openly, the Father will reward you in secret. And if a man have a taste for prayer meetings and none for private prayer, he should give up the prayer meetings until he recover the taste for secret prayer. 2. Paul speaks of continuance in the sense of importunity and perseverance. “Instant,” means earnest, pressing, and urgent. The precept implies the danger of non-continuance—of a lack of earnestness and urgency. Now this danger arises from—(1) Scepticism about prayer. Men are often tempted to ask, “What profit shall we have if we pray to Him?” Then we may be beset by unbelief as to God’s hearing our prayers in particular. (2) Indifference. Men do not care to pray. There is no very pressing want; no very urgent danger. The man is looking simply on the surface of his life.
  2. Why is this requirement made? Habitual prayer—1. Keeps in habitual exercise the first principles of our religious life, &c. You cannot pray without bringing into exercise faith, trust, hope, and love. Now these principles are not intended to be within us like gems in a casket, but are like muscles. Work them, and they will be strengthened; give them nothing to do, and they will shrink, and when you want them, they will not be in a state to serve you. 2. Keeps a man face to face with God. This is the right position. We never see any matter as we ought to see it, except we look God in the face about it. 3. Recognises the two great blessings of the Christian economy. And what are these? (1) The mediation of Christ. (2) The ministration of the Holy Ghost. 4. Is the constant use of the highest agency which Christians can employ. What has prayer done? Conquered the elements, healed the diseased, restored life, &c. Prayer moves the hand which moves the world. 5. Is second only to ceaseless praise in the loftiness and in the sacredness of the habit. 6. Is in harmony with God’s present method of government. The basis of that government is atonement, i.e., an embodied supplication for mercy. (S. Martin.)

Prayer unceasing:—Fletcher’s whole life was a life of prayer; and so intensely was his mind fixed upon God that he sometimes said, “I would not move from my seat without lifting up my heart to God.” “Wherever we met,” says Mr. Vaughan, “if we were alone, his first salute was, ‘Do I meet you praying?’ And if we were talking on any point of divinity, when we were in the depth of our discourse he would often break off abruptly and ask, ‘Where are our hearts now?’ If ever the misconduct of an absent person was mentioned, his usual reply was, ‘Let us pray for him.’ ”

Constant, instant, expectant:

  1. Instant. The Greek word means “always applying strength in prayer”; “blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee.” Brooks saith that the word is a metaphor taken from hunting dogs, which will never give up the game till they have got it. Prevalent prayer is frequently spoken of in Scripture as an agony—“striving together with me in your prayers,” and as “wrestling.” We must go with our whole soul to God or He will not accept us. We are to pray as if all depended upon our praying. How are we to attain to this urgency? 1. Let us study the value of the mercy which we are seeking at God’s hand. Whatever it is that thou art asking for, it is no trifle. If it be a doubtful thing, lay it aside: but if thou art certain that the blessing sought is good and necessary, examine it as a goldsmith inspects a jewel when he wishes to estimate its worth. 2. Meditate on thy necessities. See thy soul’s poverty and undeservingness. Look at what will happen to thee unless this blessing come. 3. Endeavour to get a distinct consciousness of the fact that God must give thee this blessing, or thou wilt never have it. 4. Eagerly desire the good thing. Stand not before God as one who will be content whether or no. There are times when you must say, “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.” 5. Now comes the tug of war; you are to plead with all your might. Gather up all your faculties to see whether this thing be a matter of promise or no. When you have found the promise, plead it by saying, “Lord, do as Thou hast said.” If you do not seem to prevail with one promise seek out another and another, and then plead, “For Thy name’s sake, for Thy truth’s sake, for Thy covenant’s sake”; and then come in with the greatest plea of all, “For Jesus’ sake.” 6. Still there is one thing more wanted, and that is strong faith. You cannot be instant in prayer, nay, you cannot offer an acceptable prayer at all except as you believe in the prayer-hearing God.
  2. Constant—“continuing.” Go back to the hunting dog. We saw him rushing like the wind after his game, but this will not be enough if it only lasts for a little; he must continue running if he is to catch his prey. It is a sign of failure in the iron trade when the furnaces are blown out; when business flourishes the fire blazes both day and night; and so will it be with prayer when the soul is in a flourishing state. If prayer be the Christian’s vital breath, how can he leave off praying? “That is difficult,” says one. Who said it was not? All the processes of the Christian life are difficult; but “the Spirit helpeth our infirmities.” Prayer must be continuous, because—1. It is so singularly mixed up with the whole gospel dispensation. 2. It is connected with every covenant blessing. 3. It has been connected with every living spiritual experience you have ever had. 4. There is no time when we can afford to slacken prayer. 5. Such remarkable gifts are vouchsafed to importunity. 6. The continuance of our instancy in prayer is the test of the reality of our devotion. Earnest men of business cannot afford to open the shop and do a little occasional trade, and then put up a notice, “The proprietor of this shop has gone out for an excursion, and will resume his business when he feels inclined to.” Beware of spasms of prayer.

III. Expectant. It is not in the text verbally, but it must be there really, because there will be no such thing as instancy or constancy unless there is an expectation that God can and will give that which we seek. Go back to our dog again: he would not run at so great a rate if he did not expect to seize his prey. If some people looked out for answers to prayer they might soon have them, for their prayers would be answered by themselves. I was reminded of that by a little boy whose father prayed in the family that the Lord would visit the poor and relieve their wants. When he had finished, his little boy said, “Father, I wish I had your money.” “Why so?” “Because,” he said, “I would answer your prayers for you.” I like better still that story of the good man at the prayer-meeting, who reading the list of prayers found one for a poor widow that her distress might be relieved, so he began to read it, but stopped and added, “We won’t trouble the Lord with that, I will attend to that myself.” The Lord might well say to us, “Thou sayest, Thy kingdom come; arise and help to make My kingdom come!” I shall close by recommending to all of you one simple but very comprehensive prayer. It was offered by a poor man in Fife, and it was copied out by the Duchess of Gordon, and found among her papers when she died. “O Lord, give me grace to feel my need of Thy grace! Give me grace to ask for Thy grace! Give me grace to receive Thy grace! And when in Thy grace Thou hast given me grace, give me grace to use Thy grace!” (C. H. Spurgeon.)[7]

12:12 “rejoicing in hope” This is a PRESENT ACTIVE PARTICIPLE used in the sense of an IMPERATIVE. The term “hope” was often used in connection with the Second Coming (cf. 5:2). It is not hope in the English sense of a wish, but in the NT sense of a certain event, but with an ambiguous time element. See notes at 4:18 and 5:2.

© “persevering” This is a PRESENT ACTIVE PARTICIPLE used in the sense of an IMPERATIVE. The term means “active, voluntary, steadfast endurance.”

© “in tribulation” As in 5:3, 5 “hope” was linked to tribulation (thlipsis). This is the norm for followers of Christ in a fallen world (cf. Acts 14:22; Rom. 8:17ff; 2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Pet. 4:12ff). We must not seek it nor shun it! See Special Topic: Tribulation at 5:3.

© “devoted to prayer” This is a PRESENT ACTIVE PARTICIPLE used in the sense of an IMPERATIVE. Prayer is a spiritual discipline and gift that recognizes God’s active hand in history. Believers can affect a loving Heavenly Father. God has chosen to limit Himself to the prayers of His children (cf. Acts 1:14; 2:42; 6:4; Eph. 6:18–19; Col. 4:2). This makes prayer an awesome responsibility. See Three Crucial Questions About Spiritual Warfare by Clinton Arnold, pp. 43–44, 187–188.[8]

12. Be joyful in hope, enduring in affliction, persistent in prayer.

The hope of future salvation (cf. 5:2, 4, 5; 8:24, 25; 15:4, 13) stimulates present joy; in fact, to such an extent that God’s children are even able patiently to endure in the midst of affliction. This endurance indicates strength to bear up under stress, plus the persistent application of this strength. It is not the product of human wisdom or skill but of God’s grace. Therefore Paul immediately adds “(Be) persistent in prayer.”

Without constant prayer such joy and endurance would be impossible. The opposition coming from the side of the world and the doubts from within would prove too strong. In fact, without steadfastness in prayer obedience to none of the exhortations of chapter 12 or of other passages can be expected.[9]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (Vol. 2, pp. 191–193). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Harrison, E. F., & Hagner, D. A. (2008). Romans. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 190). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Moo, D. J. (1996). The Epistle to the Romans (p. 779). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Murray, J. (1968). The Epistle to the Romans (Vol. 2, pp. 131–133). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[5] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). The Pulpit Commentary: Romans (pp. 360–362). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[6] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (pp. 466–467). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[7] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: Romans (Vol. 2, pp. 521–526). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[8] Utley, R. J. (1998). The Gospel according to Paul: Romans (Vol. Volume 5, Ro 12:12). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[9] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (Vol. 12–13, pp. 415–416). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

August—11 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion


Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation.—Philippians 2:6, 7.

My soul! after all thy meditations upon the person of thy Lord, how very far short hast thou come in thy thoughts of the unequalled humility of the Son of God! Let thy present evening’s contemplation be on this subject. But where, and at what part, shall I enter upon it. Who shall speak, or what heart conceive the wonders contained in it! Blessed Spirit of all truth! do thou glorify the Lord Jesus to my evening meditation, in this interesting view of his person. He that, before all worlds, lay in the bosom of the Father, and was attended by the services of legions of angels, condescended to be made not only flesh, but in the likeness of sinful flesh; to be born in a stable, and to sleep in a manger; to advance in human intellect, and grow in wisdom and in stature; to labour for bread, and to gain that bread by the sweat of the brow; and, having spent an eternity in glory with the Father, to spend thirty years in poverty and want among men! Go on, my soul, in the meditation. Follow Jesus till thou hast beheld him, not only having nowhere to lay his head, but becoming the scorn and sport of the multitude; and he who had been, and still was, and ever will be, the delight and glory of the Father, branded by men, even by many of them he came to save, as a blasphemer, and one that had a devil! Sit down, and ponder over these wonderful things; and then ask, what can raise affections in the soul, if such views of Jesus do not? Think what must have been the Father’s love in giving his dear Son to such a purpose? and what must have been the Son’s love in coming? Then ask thyself what indignities oughtest thou not to submit to among men, if called upon to such an exercise, while contemplating the unequalled humility of thy Redeemer? Dearest Lord Jesus! I blush in the moment of recollection, while beholding thy real glory thus veiled under the cloud of humiliation, to think how often for trifles, yea, less than trifles, the false pride of my poor fallen nature hath felt hurt at some fancied inattention from men. Oh! for the same mind to be in me “which was in Christ Jesus!” He made himself of no reputation![1]


[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 239–240). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

August 11 The Star Thrower


In everything set them an example by doing what is good.
(Titus 2:7, NIV)

In his book, The Star Thrower, Loren Eisley tells of the day he was walking along a beach where thousands of starfish had been washed up. He noticed a boy picking up starfish one by one and throwing them back into the ocean. When he asked him why, the boy said, “If I don’t, they’ll die!” But how can saving so few make a difference when so many are doomed?” the author asked. The little guy picked up another starfish, threw it back into the ocean and said, “It is going to make a lot of difference for this one!” Eisley left the boy and went home to continue writing, only to find he couldn’t type a single word. So he returned to the beach and spent the rest of the day helping the boy throw starfish back into the ocean.

How do you change the world? One life at a time. One life, one act of kindness, one step of faith. There’s only one Moses, one Paul, one Shakespeare, one Lincoln, but it’s the numberless acts of courage and commitment by ordinary people like you that make the difference.


You bring to the Kingdom of God something special that no one else has to offer.[1]


[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 223). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

Nation’s IQ Expected To Rise 50 Points After TikTok Ban — The Babylon Bee

U.S.—The nation’s average IQ is expected to rise a full 50 points should TikTok be banned, a new study claims.

“Should the app be banned, Americans will immediately gain an incredible amount of intelligence,” said the head researcher on the study. “Not watching hyper-fast videos of people dancing and making banal jokes is expected to contribute greatly to the nation’s collective cognitive ability.”

Experts claim that people will immediately begin smoking pipes and reading fine works of literature by the fire. “Plato, Socrates, Homer, Tolkien — all the classics,” said one analyst. “We believe people will start playing 3-D chess and Go at high levels against one another rather than wasting their time with plebeian things like ‘dancing’ and ‘music.'”

“In fact, it’s possible that everyone instantly becomes a brain surgeon once TikTok is gone forever.”

One man who recently deleted TikTok from his phone seems to support the conclusions of the study. “Oh, TikTok? What is that?” he said just days after deleting the app. “Ah, yes, the so-called ‘phone application’ that provides entertainment to the masses. Well, let them have their bread and circuses, I say. I have more important things to do.” He then resumed his work on a cure for cancer.

via Nation’s IQ Expected To Rise 50 Points After TikTok Ban — The Babylon Bee

Governors Can’t Use Coronavirus To Indefinitely Declare A State Of Emergency

In a national panic, Americans permitted executives to take power—to declare states of emergency and to implement lockdowns—and now those executives won’t give that power back.

Source: Governors Can’t Use Coronavirus To Indefinitely Declare A State Of Emergency

Is Joe Biden a Roman Catholic? Where does he stand on abortion and religious liberty?


Major pro-abortion group endorses Joe Biden for President Major pro-abortion group endorses Joe Biden for President

What does Joe Biden think about Roman Catholics? He might like you to believe that he’s a great friend of Catholics, so he can get their votes. But he’s very strongly in favor of abortion and infanticide. And he’s also opposed to religious liberty for Roman Catholics. How do I know? Because he said so himself.

Here’s the story from The Federalist:

Biden’s record is one of attacking nuns, not defending them. Last month, he pledged to overturn a Supreme Court decision that affirmed a group of nuns’ right to deny contraceptive coverage based on their sincerely-held religious beliefs. The Little Sisters of the Poor are a Catholic order that has existed since 1839 and serves impovrished elderly in over 30 countries, including the United States. In 2013, the Little Sisters sued the Obama-Biden administration’s Health and Human Services, seeking a religious exemption to providing…

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Mid-Day Snapshot · Aug. 11, 2020


“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence … the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government.” —George Washington (1796)

Dems Dismiss Chinese Election Interference

Beijing prefers Joe Biden, but Nancy Pelosi says Russia is still the real threat.

Seattle Defunds Police, Chief Resigns

The city council sides with anti-cop agenda, cuts millions from department’s budget.

The Bidens Are Serial Tax Evaders

Hunter Biden had a $450,000 tax lien conveniently paid off in just six days.

Propping Up Joe Biden

By rigging the nomination for an unfit candidate, Dems have stooped to a new low.

A Mail-In Voting Test Case

Failures in New York provide the latest warning for the Democrats’ big hobby horse.

The Left Cracks Down on Dissent Both Large and Small

Two cases in New York point to a disturbing disregard for our fundamental freedoms.

Mike Pence: Unsung Hero

Donald Trump chose a truly good man in 2016, and that’s good for America.

Rookie Cop Saves Life of Unresponsive Two-Week-Old Baby

“He performed a miracle,” says the child’s eternally grateful mother.

Video: Joe Biden Is No ‘Ally’ to the Black Community

But always remember, if you aren’t voting for him, he thinks “you ain’t black.”

Video: Do We Have to Destroy the Earth to Save It?

Michael Shellenberger used to think so. Now he’s not so sure.


Why America Is in Real Danger
The Economy Is Struggling, but Gun Sales Are Soaring
Investor Immigrants Will Stimulate the Economy
Trump Is Right About Mail-in Ballots
Politicians Need a Refresher Course in How Government Works
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Tuesday Executive Summary

Omar’s felonies, election night delay, BLM “reparations,” and more.

Tuesday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Kevin Williamson, Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, and more.


For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.


For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

“The Patriot Post” (https://patriotpost.us)

Read Online

August 11 Life-Changing Moments With God


That through death He might destroy him who had the power of death.

Father, my Savior Jesus Christ has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Lord God, You will swallow up death forever, and You will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of Your people—my rebuke—You will take away from all the earth; for You, Lord God, have spoken. When this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But I give thanks to You, Lord, who gives me the victory through my Lord Jesus Christ.

You, Father God, have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

I rejoice in Your victory over death, Lord God,

and the gifts of life and immortality You give Your people!

Hebrews 2:14; 2 Timothy 1:10; Isaiah 25:8; 1 Corinthians 15:54–57; 2 Timothy 1:7; Psalm 23:4[1]


[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 242). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 11 Thoughts for the quiet hour


They that wait upon the Lord shall change their strength

Isa. 40:31 (R.V.)

Lord, what a change within us one short hour

Spent in Thy presence will prevail to make!

What heavy burdens from our bosoms take!

What parched grounds refresh as with a shower!

We kneel—and all around us seems to lower.

We rise and all the distant and the near

Stand forth in sunny outline, brave and clear.

We kneel—how weak: we rise—how full of power.

Why, therefore, should we do ourselves this wrong

Or others—that we are not always strong;

That we are ever overborne with care;

That we should ever weak or heartless be,

Anxious or troubled, while with us is prayer,

And joy and strength and courage are with Thee?

Archbishop Trench[1]


[1] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.