Love Bears, Believes, Hopes & Endures all things
Love, it’s a word that is vastly overused. It is a word that has come to carry little weight, little conviction, little worth, value or commitment. But just because that is how our society has treated it – tossed about like worn rags – does not mean that is the way God has designed or intended it.
1 Corinthians 13 is known as the LOVE chapter in the Bible. The Apostle Paul lays out plainly what love is. And what love is not. In verse 7 he explains, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.”
We can look to our God and Father as the perfect demonstration of love. This is what God does for us.
- He bears all things
- He believes all things
- He Hopes all things
- He endures all things
On Cup of Hope this we are taking this verse and looking at each of these ways that God demonstrates His love to us, and how we can then in turn demonstrate love to others.
God bears all things with us and for us. When I think about bearing something, I think about heaviness, carrying the weight of something on someone else’s behalf. But then I dug a little deeper into the word in Greek.
I now understand that God the word means “to cover over; protect; to keep hidden”, and the commentary from Blue Letter Bible (a resource I often use to deepen my understanding) is it is a “covering to keep off something which threatens).
These definitions of the word “bears” brought to mind two visuals I have read about in scripture about God. The first picture is God’s protection with wings.
“Let me dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings” (Psalm 61:4)
God’s wings! Can you just imagine how big those wings would be? Can you just picture how majestic and regal? Yet how warm, welcoming and gentle. There is no other place I’d rather be than surrounded by protective wings of my Heavenly Father.
The second picture that came to mind was God’s protection as a shield.
Psalm 3:3 says, “But you, o Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the one who lifts my head.”
God showers his love on us and gives us his shield as protection – even protection from ourselves at times – protection from our excuses, faults and errors.
These verses combined lead me to believe in an innate protective and defense mechanism that is birthed from love. Love can’t help but bear, shield and protect as wings.
Love not only bears all things, but it also believes all things.
Admittedly, I struggle with this one. Because at face value I took this “believing all things” to mean that I had to ignore the fact that I’ve been hurt, lied to, trusts broken, etc. But as I took a look deeper and studied further I saw that to “believe all things” is not being naive, or continuing to trust when someone has broken trust.
To “Believe all things” means we place our confidence in God to work in the lives of all those we are in relationship with. Trust that He is at work, even when it is hard to see it. This doesn’t mean I have to blindly believe everything someone I love is telling me. This is not an invitation to needlessly walk into hurtful situations.
“Believing all things means that I am putting my trust in the work God is doing and allowing God to help me be more grace-filled, more empathetic, more compassionate. It means that I recognize we are all “works in progress”. God doesn’t give up on us, and He’s not given up on those who have broken our trust.
“Love hopes all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7) Having hope in all things because of Love means that we are willing to take “believing all things” a step further. It means that we can look ahead and with confidence declare that God is not done with us yet – and every broken relationship, every wound can be healed, restored and redeemed for God’s glory.
“Hope all things” is a hard one to live out as we are in constant relationship with loved ones that may be rocky, confusing, painful and broken. Yet, when we focus our gaze not on the person, but on God above who promises to bear all things with us, we can trust that He is in our midst.
The final portion of this verse teaches us that “Love endures all things.”
Love endures. This means that love doesn’t run away when it is treated poorly. I think if we are honest we have all had days when we have treated those we love less than supremely. In my eyes, this is one of the most radiant pictures of God’s love for us, one of the most compelling.
God loves us – his love for us endures – through our denial, through our anger, through our doubt, through our self confidence, through our desire to BE GOD and KNOW what God knows. He endures, his love endures with us when we ignore and turn our back on him. He is there. Patient. He waits for us. Not growing weary with anger. But growing in compassion and love as He knows HE is what’s best for us. And all he desires is our best.
2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
God endures with patience so that no one will experience eternity apart from His presence.
I don’t know about you, but I needed this perspective. I needed a fresh look at God’s love for us.
I needed to be reminded of His love for me, and see how His love at work in me will overflow to those around me in bearing, believing, hoping and enduring all things!
Father God, may we never take for granted your amazing love. May we never forget the great lengths you go to in pursuit of a relationship with us. God will you help us see this week tangible ways that you have demonstrated your love for us through bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things and enduring all things on our behalf.
Lord, we trust that you have our eternal best in mind and we trust that you do not take love and relationships lightly. We trust that you can repair, mend, heal all the relationships in our lives that are broken. We are grateful Father for your amazing love. In Jesus name, amen.
Listen to this song, Amazing Love, meditate on the words of the scripture and be reminded of God’s great love for you.
In need of hope? Struggling with fear? Get your copy of Ascent to Hope and be encouraged to take the rugged climb from fear to faith?