1 Corinthians 13:7-8 “Love endures through every circumstance. 8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!”
The word that is used here means to remain under, indicating difficulty and hardship and it brings us to the culminating color that makes up love “Love never fails.” Here we have the perpetuity of permanence for Love doesn’t quit, it doesn’t give up. The eternal circle of love is now complete, beginning with patience toward people and ending with patience through circumstances. Paul reminds us that the power of love can endure the problems of life. Love helps us to endure and sustain a load of miseries, adversities, persecutions or provocations in faith and patience. The term that Paul uses is a military one used to describe an army holding a vital position at all costs. For them every attack and hardship was to be endured in order to hold fast and Paul reminds us that love is what really endures. Love does not give up in the face of problems and pain, but endures to the finish knowing the goal is worth pushing through the pain for. Love, like a warrior’s heart, must be willing to hold its ground, persevering not for a while but to the end. Love has a stick-to-itness that is unwilling to let go but hangs on. Real love is a survivor and does not surrender even when surrounded and under siege, because it sees the source of love, the Savior. Drawing strength from the source of love it can endure anything, pressing on to victory in spite of the counterattacks.
The only individual who perfectly fulfilled this “love chapter” is Jesus Christ, even optimistic newlyweds have failed to love at some time. Pastor F. R Meyer (1847-1929) wrote, “Jesus sits for His portrait in these glowing sentences, and every clause is true of Him. Substitute His name for ’love’ throughout the chapter, and see whether it is not an exact likeness.” When we do the scripture reads “[Jesus] suffers long and is kind; [Jesus] does not envy; [Jesus] . . . does not behave rudely, does not seek [His] own . . . does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. [Jesus] never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Jesus is the perfect example of love, yet Paul wrote to describe how we are meant to follow His example and love others. Today we need more than just to read about Christ’s example of love; we need to experience His love by receiving Him into our lives as Lord and Savior. If we have done that, Paul declares, “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5). Only then will we be able to love others as Jesus does, by allowing Him to love them through us. So if His love has been poured into you would the text still read true if you replaced your name for the word love? Just like the height marks we placed on the wall to measure our children’s growth this passage can be used as a yardstick to measuring our progress and growth in love. Are you growing in agape love? Life has its problems yet problems really provide opportunities to learn to love. When we view problems as a provision packed full of opportunities for progress in the arena of love we realize that this world is not a playground but a school room. Life is not a holiday but an education where we get to apprentice under the Savior so we can learn to better love. How can we love better? By practice, practice is what produces the good athlete, the better artist, the great sculptor, and the growing musician. Love is not the expression of enthusiastic emotion, it is the expression of a character that has practiced by exercising these virtues. Have you taken the first step in discovering love in the Person and actions of Jesus Christ? Do you believed the Bible that says Christ loved you and died for your sins? This is the starting point, the beginning to a life of love where we submit to Jesus and allow Him to live His life of love through us. The best proof of the absolute value of love is its eternal permanence in contrast to everything else, even the other excellent eternal qualities, of hope and faith. The subjective persistence of love in the believer on earth becomes objective permanence in heaven. Love endures forever, it bears what otherwise is unbearable; it believes what otherwise is unbelievable; it hopes in what otherwise is hopeless; and it endures when anything less than love would give up. After love bears it believes, after it believes it hopes and after it hopes it endures. There is no “after” for endurance because endurance is the unending climax of love. To know love we must open our hearts to Jesus, to show love we must open our heart to others. Where are you at today, do you need to open your heart to Jesus and let Him fill you with His love or is it time to pour out His love on a thirsty world?