Jacob, founding father of the twelve tribes of Israel, had an audience with the Egyptian Pharaoh towards the end of his life. When Pharaoh asked him how old he was, Jacob answered (Genesis 47:8-10):
“I have had a short life with many troubles. I am only 130 years old. My father and his ancestors lived to be much older than I am.” * Bible Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Taking stock of his life, Jacob did not dwell too much on sweet memories. His unenthusiastic assessment: Life is short and troubled. Jacob’s view of his own life may seem a bit disheartening, but he makes a valid point: In hindsight everybody’s lifetime on earth is short, whether it lasts 130 years or just a few hours. And regardless how long we live, problems are the norm, not the exception.
We all go through enough trouble in this life that we need to be reminded not to lose hope. The apostle Paul wrote in a letter addressed to the congregation in Rome (Romans 12:12):
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Facing adversity, it is important not to lose hope, because once we have lost all hope, our joy goes out the window. Impatience only makes matters worse. Impatient people have no friends. Prayer keeps us going. Our soul breathes through prayer. Giving up on prayer would deprive our soul from oxygen.
In an inspiring statement Paul encourages us to keep up hope, patience and prayer. It’s a life motto, which will navigate us through any storm.