Loving Others amidst Hardship

Read: Romans 12:9-21

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (v. 10)

I am writing these devotionals in early 2021, and at this time COVID-19 vaccines are in the early stages of distribution. There is much debate about whether or not to get the vaccine, whether to wear masks, and to what degree schools, churches, sports, and businesses should be closed down.

Whether those are still realities as you read this, the pandemic has not always brought out the best in us. In this season, we have not always responded with love or with an effort to outdo one another in showing honor (v. 10). When things go against us, when people hurt us or disagree with us, or when transitions shake our faith, our ability to love one another is put to the test. Perhaps you have people in your life right now whom you find difficult to love because of the pain they have caused you.

Romans 12:12 challenges us with these words: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (NIV). Along with prayer, ponder the challenge to remain joyful in hope and patient in affliction. Discern if there is a way God might want you to take the high road, show grace to others, and handle disagreements in a Christlike manner. If you need motivation to do so, consider how Jesus, when he gave his life for you, treated and prayed for those who crucified him. —Steve Petroelje

As you pray, ask God to help you love others in difficult times.

About the Author

Steve Petroelje

Rev. Steve Petroelje is a specialized transition pastor who serves vacant churches and helps them assess health, pursue missional effectiveness, and conduct a pastoral search process. He is the past-president of the Words of Hope Board of Trustees.