Sermon: When Life is Hard

When Life is Hard…
Romans 12:12-13
November 1, 2020

I am what you might call a “fair-weather exerciser.”  I prefer to get my exercise outdoors, but I prefer to get it within certain parameters.  I don’t like it (and generally won’t go) when it’s over 80° and I definitely won’t go when it’s below 40° and I really don’t like it between 40–50°.  I think 60-65° for running is nice.  With low humidity.  And no wind.  Or rain.  Or hills.  And no vehicles obstructing my path.  And I really don’t like it when many other joggers are around either.  Which means there are about two days a year when I’m happy going outside for exercise.  This week wasn’t my favorite exercise week of the year.  Something like this looks more appealing to me:

Many of us live life the way I prefer to exercise.  We want life to always bring clear skies and fair weather with no obstructions and no difficulties.  So, how is 2020 working for y’all?

In Romans 12:9-11 Paul explains how to love others in the church body.  What does love for other believers look like?  The last admonition (v. 11) exhorts us to love others in serving the Lord.  The way we care for others reveals the way that we are serving Christ.  That service of others isn’t always easy.  People are difficult and circumstances are difficult.  We are disappointed.  We don’t get what we want.  For the last 10 months, many have not received what they have wanted; and this next week about half our country won’t receive what they want from the election.  We know we shouldn’t despair.  We know we shouldn’t complain.  We know we shouldn’t be anxious.  But what should we do?  What can we do (what are we enabled to do)?  What does service of the Lord look like when we are discouraged and suffering in life and from life?

In Romans 12:12-13 the apostle gives us five activities to practice when life gets hard; I summarize it this way —

When life is hard, be purposeful to serve the Lord and His people.

Whatever else we say about our relationships, they cannot be anything less than loving.  While I want to be careful about making absolute statements, it seems that Christ, Paul, and the other NT writers cannot be more clear:  the most essential part of our fellowship is that we love each another.

In this passage, Paul provides us with five activities to practice when life gets hard:

  1. When Life Gets Hard, Rejoice Confidently
  2. When Life Gets Hard, Persevere Actively
  3. When Life Gets Hard, Pray Faithfully
  4. When Life Gets Hard, Give Liberally
  5. When Life Gets Hard, Love Hospitably

Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 12:12-13.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.

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