“Keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12: 11-12
It can be hard to always love others. It can be hard to always be ‘Christian’ towards others. It can even be hard to treat our brothers and sisters in Christ with love all the time. These words of Paul provide us with some insights and guidance for how to love all in a manner worthy of Christ’s love.
‘Keeping our spiritual fervor’ involves staying in love with God – one of Reuben Job’s ‘Three Simple Rules’. When we are in love with God we naturally want to serve others and to meet the needs we can meet. We stay in love with God by practicing our spiritual disciplines – worship, prayer, study, fasting, …
When we are ‘joyful in hope’ we are living into the belief that Jesus will be there for us. We are expectant that He will be present to us and as we live with hope in our hearts, we are filled with joy. When we are ‘patient in affliction’ we are living into the belief that although we endure for a moment, that Jesus will be there when we reach the other side or the end of our present situation. In the midst of trial, we know that He is there with us and will be there always. This allows for patience. With patience we can gain much from the trials of life. When we are ‘faithful in prayer’ we are living into the belief that through talking with Jesus we draw nearer to Him and draw strength from Him.
Though these four practices we equip ourselves to better love all we encounter each day. This blessing from Hebrews 13 is also ours if we claim it: “May the God of peace equip you with every good thing that you may do His will, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.” He wants to equip us with spiritual fervor, joyful hope, patient enduring, and a faithful prayer life. May we claim all that He has to offer as we live daily with Christ.
Scripture reference: Romans 12: 9-21