It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Does God really mean ALWAYS and NEVER? These two words are so definitive. We can at times feel very conflicted about these words ‘always’ and ‘never’. Our flesh says there are certainly times when we should or we should not. But God clearly tells us here that agape love is definitive (not able to be argued about or changed; final and settled).
The word always is defined as “at all times; forever”.
Forever is defined as “for an endless time”.
In some translations ‘always’ is used as ‘all things’. This word phrase means each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, everything.
So according to God there is no exception to how agape love is manifested in our lives.
Love ALWAYS protects (bears all things).
This word ‘protect’ or ‘bears’ means to shield from injury, danger or loss; to guard or defend; protect or keep by covering; to preserve; to conceal the errors and faults of others.
Webster’s online dictionary defines ‘bear’ as “something difficult to do or deal with”.
God is our hiding place who protects us always (Psalm 27:5, Psalm 32:7, Psalm 119:114). He shields us daily from trouble without us even noticing. He guards us and defends us. His sacrifice on the cross was the ultimate covering of our errors.
Do we love like this? Think of the people closest to you. Does your love protect, guard and defend them? Is your love one that deals with their difficulties?
Remember, God tells us we should love in a protective manner ALWAYS.
Love ALWAYS trusts (believes all things).
To trust or believe is to place your confidence in the honesty, integrity and reliability of another; to think to be true or to be persuaded of something.
Who or what do we put our trust in? We cannot manifest true agape love if our trust is not in the Lord (Psalm 20:7, Proverbs 3:5, John 14:1). First and foremost our trust should be in Him alone. When our trust is in God then the offenses of others will not diminish our love for them. Let’s face reality; we are hurting, sinful people who hurt other people. There will always be people in our life that cause us hurt or pain and their actions cause us to lose trust in them. However, our trust is not to be in them. It is to be in God. Through trusting in Him we can continue to love the way we are called to love, even those who are difficult to love.
Love ALWAYS hopes.
The biblical definition has been lost in translation. Many of us see hope as wishful thinking. We want something to happen but we are unsure as to whether or not it really will. The biblical definition of hope is a confident expectation.
Where do we place our hope? Our hope should be in the Lord. Is our hope a wishful thinking or do we have a confident expectation? Do we wish God would do what He says He will do, or do we have a confident expectation that whatever God says will be? (Psalm 130:7, Psalm 147:11, Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 86:15, Deuteronomy 7:9, Psalm 119:90).
No matter what situation you find yourself in put your hope in God. He is faithful to His word and to you. With God there is no situation that is too big or too difficult for Him. Pursue Him, trust Him, and put your hope in Him alone.
Love ALWAYS perseveres (endures all things).
To persevere or endure is to remain, abide, not recede or flee no matter how difficult the situation; to be steadfast or persistent.
Steadfast: to be firm, fixed, settled; not wavering; unchanged.
Persist: to refuse to give up.
Scripture reminds us of the importance of perseverance (James 1:3, Romans 5:3-4, Hebrews 12:1, James 1:12). Life is hard. We face trouble and trials of all kinds. Many of those may cause us to want to throw up our hands and shout “I quit”! But God tells us we must persevere. It is only through perseverance that we will 1)be exactly who God created us to be, 2) accomplish all that God created us to do, 3) and experience God and His blessings to the fullest.
Let’s not short change ourselves by giving up too quickly. God has such a wonderful plan for us, but we will never experience that plan to its fullest if we quit.
God never gives up on us. Let’s not give up on Him.
Love NEVER fails.
Fail: to be lacking or insufficient; fall short; lose power or strength; to be unsuccessful in obtaining a desired end; to be useless, inadequate; to leave or abandon.
God is love and His love never fails us (read Psalm 136 in the CEV version, 1Chronicles 28:20, Isaiah 51:6, Lamentations 3:22).
When we can remember that no matter what, God is with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will never fail us. God is all sufficient. He is omnipotent. When we rest in that assurance we then open ourselves up to be useful to God. We then allow His perfect agape love to flow from us.
This love God calls us to, it is not for the faint and weary hearted. We must stand firm in God’s strength so that we can persevere in this great calling to love like He loves.
Lord, I put my trust and hope in You. Thank you for being my protector, shield and hiding place. May I rely on Your strength to persevere in life so that I can be exactly who You called me to be and experience everything You have planned for me to the fullest.