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1 Corinthians 13 Part 16: Love Endures all Things
1 Corinthians 13:7d, Matthew 18:21-22 If your brethren are angry without a cause, be sorry for them, but do not let them conquer you by driving you into a bad temper
“Love…endures all things.”
1 Corinthians 13:7d NASB1995
We have now reached the fourth attribute of love in 1 Corinthians 7. After we bear (protect), trust (believe), and hope (remain optimistic) in love, we now endure all things. Endure comes from the Greek word hypomeno, according to the Blue Letter Bible and has the following definitions:
to tarry behind
to remain i.e. abide, not recede or flee
to persevere: under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one's faith in Christ
to endure, bear bravely and calmly: ill treatments
Agape love perseveres under trials and endures ill treatments and does not run away, but calmly continues to love, forgiving again and again. This is truly a supernatural love that is challenging, if not impossible, for you to create within yourself. You must submit your will to our Savior to have a chance at having love that endures. A commentary I found from Precept Austin (from Enduring Word Ministries) has this to say about getting to true enduring love:
Sooner or later we have to get down to the bottom of things and admit the truth. “O God, I hate my husband. I hate my wife. I can’t stand my children. My parents are driving me nuts. I hate the people I work with and I don’t like the folks at church. I don’t love my neighbors and I can barely stand to see my own family. O God, help me. I don’t love anyone right now. And even though no one else knows it or sees it, I’m an angry person, filled with bad thoughts and completely lacking in any kind of love. If you don’t help me, I will never love anyone because I know I can’t change the way I am. Lord God, please help me. Change me. Let your love flow through me. If you want me to love others, you’re going to have to do it through me because I can’t do it myself.” That’s the kind of prayer God loves to answer.
Do you think that a love for others that endures all things is evident in our current culture? Most people seem to be on the lookout for an offense, for a wrong word, for a wrong opinion, for a wrong group or gang affiliation, for an unsmiling or unhelpful face that we can hate on for the rest of the day. We are not enduring anything! Hate instantly manifests itself, while love is left behind or doesn’t even exist. As evidence of that profound lack of love, here are the murder rate increases by state from 2019 to 2020; the percentage increase of the murder rate for the country over that year was one of the largest seen in history at +30% (more recent data shows that the rate between 2020 and 2021 was up another 5%):
These are murders committed in families, murders between gang members, murders of innocent bystanders during commission of another crime (like robbery), and murders just because of rage or obsessions about something. The statistics also don’t include aggravated assaults that injure others but don’t result in death. Instead of enduring things, we resort to things as extreme as murder.
We are miserable creatures, caught up in suspicion, cynicism and rapidly decaying into tribal affiliations that have echo chambers that hate on the other tribal affiliations. To fight racism, it is now essential to blame everything bad that has ever happened on one particular race (that doesn’t solve anything but just increases the hate and dissension). People want monetary restitution and reparations, not reconciliation. We look backwards and rage over things that happened long ago or even before we were born, but don’t look to the future or even today and to how we can bring enduring love to others.
Believers endure, because our Savior endured. He told us to endure beyond any “reasonable” expectation:
“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
Matthew 18:21-22 NASB1995
Jesus also told us to love our enemies and go the extra mile with them and give them the shirt off our backs if they ask for our cloak. Enduring love is full of forgiveness and humility and patience.
Here’s a short commentary on this passage by David Guzik with some great words by the great Charles Spurgeon:
Love… endures all things: Most of us can bear all things, and believe all things, and hope all things, but only for a while! The greatness of agape love is it keeps on bearing, believing, and hoping. It doesn’t give up. It destroys enemies by turning them into friends.
“If your brethren are angry without a cause, be sorry for them, but do not let them conquer you by driving you into a bad temper. Stand fast in love; endure not some things, but all things, for Christ’s sake; so you shall prove yourself to be a Christian indeed.” (Spurgeon)
My next devotional examines 1 Corinthians 13:8 Love never Fails.
Heaven on Wheels Daily Prayer:
Dear Lord, please help me and change me to be someone who bears, believes, hopes and endures all things in love. Let me be the light on the hill that shows others that true abiding love is the only way forward in this fallen world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. lockman.org
Commentary from Enduring Word by David Guzik is used with written permission.