Posted on May 15, 2013
Many of us have read or heard 1 Corinthians 13 so many times that we are slightly immune to its startling claims. Let’s just look at verse 4-8a, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Verse 7 is quite striking. Love ALWAYS protects, ALWAYS trusts, ALWAYS hopes, ALWAYS perseveres. Remarkable. Trust, especially in our American culture is rarely tied to love. Typically, people think trust is earned or if given can be lost if you behave poorly. The problem is, that’s not what the Scripture says here. It says, love ALWAYS trusts. Let’s take it a step further. 1 John 4 says that God is love. Therefore we could rightly replace the word love for God in the 1 Corinthians 13 passage and see that God ALWAYS trusts.
Amazing! God, who knows everything, sees everything ALWAYS trusts. God always supplies what He requests. He asks us to trust Him, therefore He not only trusts us but He gives us the ability to trust Him. Not only does love ALWAYS trust, but love ALWAYS protects. Love (God) is not interested in exposing to bring shame. He is interested in protecting relationship, protecting people’s hearts, protecting their future, protecting them from themselves. The reason God corrects is because love ALWAYS protects.
Love keeps going. Love ALWAYS hopes. Think about that. God is always hopeful and excited about you, your circumstances, and your relationships. He is never discouraged or hopeless about anything. He always sees what’s possible and focuses on that. He lives to find the silver lining in every dark situation. Hope is the fragrance of love. When you realize who God is, hope is the attitude in which you go forward.
Perseverance. Not typically a word that comes to mind when we think of love. But the good news is, love never runs out, is never bankrupt, never throws in the towel, and is present for the long haul. Think of it this way. You cannot imagine a day without love when you realize love (God) ALWAYS perseveres. There is no price love has not paid. There is no distance love has not run. There is no challenge love has not overcome. And yes, this is past tense. Love has already conquered and won!
The journey we are on now is to discover the depths that love has gone, to discover the debt that love has paid. The good news within this passage is a promise before it is a commandment. God promises to be for you what is described to the Corinthian church. This is how God will always be, for you, toward you, in you, and ultimately through you. Finally, did you notice the end of verse 5? Love keeps no record of wrongs. God cancelled your debt, cancelled what was against you (see Hebrews 8:7-13; Colossians 2:13-15; John 16:7-11), and by His Spirit is working to convince you of that truth. So, let God love you. Let Him remind you of who He is and who you now are, in light of that. After all, this message of hope is good news for all people!