“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”Romans 12:12
Our neighbor was a master gardener who maintained that she could grow a magnificent $5 plant as long as she had $100 soil. The soil was the key. Joy, Patience and Faithfulness are three delightful blossoms in the garden of Christian virtues, planted in the rich soil of God’s grace.
Joy is the bloom of the hopeful heart, and “hope does not disappoint.” Habakkuk 3:17-18 makes it clear that joy springs from the soil of hope, independent of external conditions: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep… yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
Patience is the yield of the afflicted heart. It may display itself in momentary heat, but it’s established in long-suffering, the long and patient endurance that comes from some kind of trouble in our lives.
Lastly, faithfulness flourishes in the fertile ground of a prayerful heart—especially one that is dependent on and desires God.
Jesus told his disciples, “I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener…remain in me, and I will remain in you” (John 15:1, 4A).