Summary: All of us encounter trials, difficulties, and suffering throughout our lives, yet as God’s children we can overcome our challenges through following the example of Jesus.


Romans 12:12

All of us encounter trials, difficulties, and suffering throughout our lives, yet as God’s children, we can overcome our challenges through following the example of Jesus.



• Are we having fun yet? Isn’t it great to see all the carnage around us, resulting from Covid-19?

• This virus has had an impact on the whole world in one form or another.

• We are all dealing with this issue in various ways, some good and some bad and self-destructive.

• When things get difficult in life, how do you get through the storm? What are your words of advice on how to handle the trials of life?

• We all encounter trials, difficulties, and suffering throughout our lives.

• Jesus himself taught His followers that in this life, we will experience tribulation (John 16:33) and yet told us not to worry about tomorrow because “each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).

• Just because we are God’s children, we are not immune to hardships. As followers of Jesus, we do not have a magical force field that surrounds us, deflecting hurts, disappointments, and pain from entering our lives.

• When the world seems to be crumbling around us, how are those who follow Jesus called to deal with the hardships we face?

• Covid-19 is not the same kind of tribulation of which Jesus spoke of when speaking on the subject of tribulation. His focus was mainly on persecution that His followers would face.

• Nonetheless, whether it is Covid-19, health issues, economic issues, the loss of a loved one, whatever the situation might be, how do not only survive the ordeal but thrive?

• In our Flashback series, today we will delve into the subject of Trials.

• In this small but powerful verse in his letter to the Roman church (12:12), Paul provides us with three vital keys to responding to trials and hardships.

• Romans 12:12 offers us a strategy for dealing with the junk in life we do not want to but are forced to face.

• I believe this passage is a timely one for all of us, given the situation we are currently facing.

• Big Idea of the Message: All of us encounter trials, difficulties, and suffering throughout our lives, yet as God’s children we can overcome our challenges through following the example of Jesus.

• Let’s turn to Romans 12:12


Bible Verse

Romans 12:12 (CSB)

12Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.


1. I. Rejoice in hope.


• When you are facing a trial in life, what can help get you through the trial? Hope!

• One of the things I believe is upsetting folks concerning the Covid-19 issue we face is that people don’t see any hope for when it will end. In Michigan, armed citizens entered the Capitol building (which is legal there) to protest the overreach of the Governor into the lives of people.

• When we face trials, the lack of hope of seeing the end of the trial can be a depressing thought.

• The media has not helped because all they want to do is push the negative. After all, it keeps people glued to the television.

• Any tidbit of negative information gets pushed across the screen; even pets are to social distance now!

• When you lose hope, you lose the ability to endure.


• On January 13, 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the Potomac River just after takeoff due to ice on the wings. Washington, D.C. had experienced one of its worst winter storms so the city was in gridlock and emergency vehicles were unable to respond in normal fashion.

• Roger Olian was on his way home from work when he crossed the 14th Street Bridge and encountered the carnage just moments after it had happened.

• Only a handful of passengers survived the plane crash, and they were sure to die in the icy waters if something wasn’t done quickly. Olian didn’t have any physical supplies to help so he gave them the only thing he had, hope.

• He jumped into the water, got as close as he could, and told the victims help was on its way, even though he wasn’t certain they would arrive in time. Amid the bone-chilling water and ice floes,

• Olian spent nearly twenty minutes encouraging them to hang on until help arrived.

• These five survivors would later recall the impact of this sheet metal foreman who, with nothing tangible to offer them for their rescue, kept them alive with his words of hope.

• Maybe Roger Olian remembered the sentiments of Theodore Roosevelt who uttered the following truth just a few blocks away while serving in The White House as our 26th president: “You can’t fight hard unless you think you are fighting to win.”

• Hope is an incredible source of strength. Houston Chronicle, 3/29/9, Belief p.5; Men of Integrity, July/August 2007, p.7/18


• The first admonition found in our passage could read, LET YOUR HOPE BE A SOURCE OF JOY TO YOU!

• When we face difficulties in life, whether those difficulties are a result of persecution, a virus, or anything else, the hope we have within us HAS TO BE OUR SOURCE OF JOY!

• What hope does Paul speak of in this passage? The hope of eternal life, the hope of God being for us, the hope of future resurrection, among other things.

• We know that God is with us and that God will use our situation for good, even when it does not seem possible!

• The blessings in Jesus that we anchor our hope brings joy beyond measure!

• One specific source of our joy as Christians is our hope, which of course is based on the grace Jesus gives to those who are His.

• Christian hope is not just a fond wish but is an earnest and confident expectation of the full salvation awaiting us when He returns!

• Romans 8:24–25 (CSB) — 24 Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.

• When we contemplate the blessings on which we place our hope, those blessings will bring more joy than the comfort of this present age!


Bible Verse

Philippians 4:4 (CSB)

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!


• As we flashback to Jesus, we discover how joy was a powerful weapon in his life to overcome his greatest trial.

• Hebrews 12:2 testifies of Jesus that “for the joy set before him, he endured the cross.” Despite the physical, emotional, and mental torment of the cross, Jesus conquered the cross.

• He was able to undergo the horror, shame, and pain of his present circumstances by realizing that joy awaited him after the cross: the joy of his Father, the joy of redeeming us, and the joy of conquering evil.

• Likewise, when we encounter trials and hardships, we must choose joy.

• That does not mean we have to be joyful about our circumstances themselves.

• Jesus was not happy on the cross; he was suffering.

• Joy is not based upon our circumstances. Instead, joy is an inward state of living in peace and trust with God. We choose joy in the hope that is before us.

• What is our hope? It is not that God will quickly fix our circumstances, but hope for the following reasons:

o (1) God will take the evil of this world and use it for good (Romans 8:28–29).

o (2) In the end, God will redeem and restore all things (Acts 3:19–21).

o (3) We belong to God, and he will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). (

o 4) God’s grace is sufficient for us in our trials, and his power is made perfect when we are weak (2 Corinthians 12:9).

• We have to be able to center our hearts on these truths so that we can deal with the present issues we face in life!


Bible Verse

Romans 12:12 (CSB)

12Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.


2. II. Be patient in affliction.


• I hate this second encouragement, BE PATIENT IN AFFLICTION!

• WHAT! Are you kidding me! When I am facing affliction, I want it over, and I want it over YESTERDAY!

• The word patient is also found in Romans 5:3, where the word denotes more than passively enduring trouble when it comes.

• This word is an instruction to take hold of trouble by the horns and turn the crisis into a spiritual victory!

• The proverbial, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade catches the flavor of this word.

• James 1:2–3 (CSB) — 2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

• This is what James speaks of when he talks about experiencing trials. When we face a trial in life, we are to look for the way our faith produced endurance.

• We are patient in affliction; we are not merely looking to survive the ordeal, we are not just to hang on for dear life, we are to take this trouble and see how we can turn the affliction into a victory in Jesus!


• The word AFFLICTIONS speaks explicitly of things that happen to us as a result of the world’s resistance to Jesus and His message. John 16:33, Acts 14:22.

• This command is sandwiched in between HOPE and PRAYER!

• In his commentary on the book of Romans, Professor Gareth Reese shares the following insight into this subject.


• The Christian does not shrink under present trials because he is buoyed up by the hope of future glory and the divine strength which is imparted to him through prayer!

Gareth Reese, Romans


• Again, in a flashback to Jesus, we witness his incredible patience in suffering.

• Jesus could have ended his pain at any moment and asked his Father to intervene by sending twelve legions of angels (see Matthew 26:53).

• Instead, Jesus exercised tremendous patience by enduring the false trial, the beating and scourgings, the insults, and the cross to complete the work God had set before him.

• In the same manner, God calls us to run the race he has marked out for us with perseverance (Hebrews 12:1).

• We prefer a quick rescue. We desperately hope that God will either change our circumstances or deliver us out of them. However, we are to stand firm and endure until the storm is over.

• When we face trials, we must be able to look for ways to gain victory through the trials.

• Let’s look at our passage one final time.


Bible Verse

Romans 12:12 (CSB)

12Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.


3. III. Be persistent in prayer.


• What are we to do when trials beset us? Are we to run around with our hair caught on fire? Are we to grip and complain on Facebook?

• I know, we are called to worry ourselves sick until it passes!

• Not one of those solutions is the answer; the answer is we are to pray!

• We are called to be PERSISTENT in prayer!

• The word PERSISTENT is defined as- to adhere to, to bury oneself with, to be busily engaged, to be devoted to!

• This word fits nicely with 1 Thessalonians 5:17!

• 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (CSB) — 17 pray constantly,

• We cannot stop praying!

• Prayer is a key for one to be able to rejoice in hope and to be patient in times of affliction.

• Do you have someone in your life that when you are stressed, once you speak with them, they get you back on track?

• Having a person in your life that can fill that function is essential, but the MOST important one you need to speak with is God!

• Communication with God is essential as a controlling influence in our joy and our patience when under pressure.

• Without communication with God, our spirits will give up and give in to the pressure!

• In a third flashback, we witness Jesus in the garden (Luke 22:39–46) and on the cross; in his greatest moment of agony and trial, Jesus turned to the Father in prayer.

• Although we might be feeling disappointment, anger, or frustration toward others, ourselves, and even God, we need to remain faithful in turning to God.

• The Scriptures invite us to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

• When we remain faithful in seeking God and sharing our heart with him with thanksgiving, then God’s peace will guard over our hearts and minds (see Philippians 4:6–7).

• Prayer, communication with God is the key to pull everyone together!


• When you are under stress, don’t try to “HANDLE IT” yourself, talk to God, allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you!

• Do not allow the circumstance to swallow you up and spit you out! Look for VICTORY!

• Do not allow trials to define you, to destroy you, take them by the horns are defeat them in Jesus!

• Look for what God is going to do with the trial to help you to grow!

• Remember, our God is bigger and more powerful than ANY trial you face in life!


• As we encounter difficult times in our lives, we can flashback to Jesus as our example to know how to respond with joy, patience, and prayer.