Each year our Board of Directors prayerfully choose a verse-of-the-year that we focus on as we go about our ministry activities for those twelve months. The verse gets spiritually woven into our programming and is prominently displayed in the Auditorium on a large wood plank.
Mount Hermon’s 2020 verse was “Remember the wonders He has done” (Psalm 105:5). In the midst of what turned out to be Mount Hermon’s most challenging year it was the perfect verse as it reminded us of all the amazing wonders that God had done in the past at this special place for 114 years. It was helpful to remember that the God who worked wonders in the past is alive and well in the present and future!
In 2020 God continued to do His wonders: He saved us from destruction from a powerful fire, provided generously for us financially in a year mostly void of revenue from campers, and allowed us to still minister to thousands through social media and “Mount Hermon at Home” Family Camp boxes. A closed camp did not mean God’s work was shut down!
God has led our Board of Directors to choose Romans 12:12 as our verse for 2021. After going through such a tough season in 2020 and knowing that 2021 is fraught with significant challenges of its own, the Board desired that we lift up our eyes to the Lord in hope and prayer. And so we shall. Our verse for 2021 is …
Be joyful in hope … faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12).
Let those words soak in. Be joyful in hope. Faithful in prayer. JOYFUL. HOPEFUL. FAITHFUL. PRAYERFUL.
If you know Romans 12:12, you’ll say, “Wait a minute. That’s not the whole verse.” True. Due to the size of our wood plank in the Auditorium we are limited in the amount of words that can be used. The entire verse reads:
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
This verse falls into the middle of a section in the Apostle Paul’s writing where he gives a number of characteristics of genuine followers of Christ. He includes actions such as…
- Demonstrating a love for others that is sincere (Rom. 12:9)
- Clinging to that which is good while hating that which is evil (Rom. 12:9)
- Being devoted to one another in love (Rom. 12:10)
- Honoring one another above ourselves (Rom. 12:10)
- Demonstrating a spiritual zeal in serving Jesus (Rom. 12:11)
- Being generous to people in need (Rom. 12:13)
- Practicing hospitality (Rom. 12:13)
Dropped into the midst of these characteristics Paul writes, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Rom. 12:12). Or, another way to say it …
Let your hope in the Lord keep you joyful. Don’t quit during the hard times. Keep on praying.
That’s a good focus for 2021, for sure.
The truth of this verse reaches far beyond the ministry of Mount Hermon. Romans 12:12 is a beacon of light to the entire world, a world that is under trauma. Isn’t it always? Long before we were introduced to Covid-19 there were always new heartaches, challenges, disappointments and crucibles. We keep hoping that all the problems will go away, but they won’t. When Covid disappears there will still be violence, racism, oppression, addiction, division and evil. None of that will fully go away until Jesus returns, judges the world, and makes all things new.
The difficulties will continue. They just will. Promise. And that is why we need to be JOYFUL, PATIENT AND FAITHFUL; joyful in HOPE, patient in AFFLICTION, and faithful in PRAYER. Mount Hermon is still standing strong due to an amazing God who has His hand of protection upon this ministry. We will choose to be joyful, patient and faithful moving forward because our trust is in God.
May we all choose to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. That’s a good word because it’s God’s word, and His word applies to today, and tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day beyond that, and even the one after that, and …