Tuesday, February 3, 2015

4 results of love

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:7

There are four ways in which love shows itself in the life of the believer. If I love God, love my brothers and sisters in Christ, and love my neighbor as myself, theses four results will be seen. They will bring us to an understanding of our Father's love for us.

First, love bears all things. It is patient (1 Corinthians 13:4) and thus can wait situations out. It can put up with not being loved back. God loved a world not yet redeemed by His Son when He sent Jesus to live and die here. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He patiently bore all things for us, His enemies, teaching us to love our enemies with the love only the Father could give to us.

Secondly, love believes all things. This is not gullibility neither is it a lack of discernment. Rather, it is the capacity to trust God in our love for other people. It helps us love our enemies for whom Jesus died, believing the gospel is for them. It believes God loves us, even when our circumstances are not to our liking. Love believes God's promises even as we patiently wait for most of them by faith. Faith and love work together.

Thirdly, love hopes all things. We have an eternal perspective because Christ's love saves us. We can confidently trust in love, hoping for God's glory (which is always the best outcome) to be known in us and in our circumstances. We can look at the promises of God and know through the hope His love brings that we all who have trusted Christ will find His loving arms in eternal fellowship with the Father.

And all this helps us finally to see that love endures all things. True love endures. This kind of love builds a Christian marriage that weathers both times of prosperity and darker seasons of pain. It can suffer loss and stay real love. It can even be rejected by those we love and find comfort in the greater love of God in Christ. God's love never fails us and by it we love, hope, believe, bear and endure all that we face. And love remains strong.

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