1 Corinthians 13:6-7
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
When God tells us that love is trusting, He means we are not to have an expectation or a demand that others must meet our needs and provide what we want before we will give our love.
We will not lose faith in God and thus not in His children, so we can believe all things and in others because we first believe in Christ.
Our hopes are not hinged on what others have done or can do; they are solely placed on Christ as we are in a cruciform in Him, formed in the shape of our Lord, by His sacrifice. The love that we give is made possible because of our trust in Him and what He has done. Therefore, we can give trust in return to others.
- A love that trusts is a willing sacrifice; there is no need to manipulate another to fulfill our needs.
- A love that trusts is willing to conform to Christ, confident that His Way is better than my way, better than the harboring of my fears, resentments, past or future hurts.
- A love that trusts does not force others nor demand some kind of repayment from another to meet our wants because we have everything from Christ to fulfill us.
Because God loves me, He keeps on trusting me when at times I don’t deserve it or even trust myself.
Q: Do we trust Him to love us and grant us the ability to give and receive love?
Authentic Love never stops trusting and is empowered by faith!
This passage is not just a description of God’s characteristics, how He deals with us and what He calls us to do and be. It was also originally a retort to this church in Corinth that was doing the direct opposite, which should be a wakeup call for us; do my actions show the opposite of love?
Paul’s point was that real love must be contagious, so when people are near us they are infected in a good way with God’s love, seen even in our worst days just as Christ did for us. We do this as a lifestyle, because Christ is real and living in us.
Our love is measured by who and what Christ is, not by what has been done to us or what we feel is missing in our lives. Love must build others up, not tear them down. It must replace our desires with His (Rom. 12:10; 1 Cor. 4:6;-19; 5:2; 14:29-32).
Commentary-Word and Phrase Meanings:
· Love. Real love enables us to appreciate others in the Lord, believing in them until the proof says otherwise. This aspect of love trusts and therefore is able and even shows up best when others don’t deserve it or are not willing to see or receive it.
There can be no real love without sacrifice, the stepping out of our will, perceived needs, and agenda and moving beyond our hurts and the potential execution of our fears.
The world demands that the other person must meet us and fulfill us with an entitlement that says they deserve me. But God says love is not deserved; love does not require or need to be merited. If it did, it would not be real love.
Christ is all I need to be fulfilled, so I can trust Him and His love to be real even when I do not feel like it (Real love: Mark 12:28-31; John 3:16, Matt. 22:34-40).
· always / never loses. Love is continual as it holds the redemptive plan of our Lord and uses us to display His grace. So, we can believe in the best of others and have patience and respect to allow for mistakes and setbacks even when something goes wrong.
Love makes room for others to grow and mature. This does not mean we are to be gullible or take mistreatment. Love is is not detached from God’s other precepts of wisdom and discernment. It does not say we are to remain in an abusive situation; rather, believe the best in others until proven otherwise (Prov. 14:15; Rom. 5:5; 1 Pet. 4:8).
· Trusts / believes / believeth all things / never loses faith / never stops believing. This form of love comes from a sincere faith that is focused on Christ. We are trusting, not because the other person deserves it, but because Christ does. We trust in Christ and have the faith and confidence to let His love flow in and through us to others. We can trust without expectations.
Faith that is not powered by Christ, but practiced by our worldly “trust” is useless, false, dead, and even demonic! This passage is about how we are to live when we trust in our Lord (Psalm 37:23; John 13:1; 15: 3,13; Rom. 3:24; 5:1-5; 9:3; 14:23).
· Love is closely tied to faith because our object is Christ. He is what we trust in and hope for; Christ is what is seen when others disappoint and hurt! As faith is the promise of God that gives us the confidence to trust, we can receive it, act on it, obey Him, and trust God’s promises because God is trustworthy.
This right thinking and practice about love should give us the ability to believe in others even though they may not meet our expectations. The key characteristics we can glean from this is being trustworthy, dependable, and honest (Matt. 6:33; John 14:9; Rom. 3:21-26; 12:2; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Phil. 4:8; Heb. 11:1)!
Devotional Thoughts and Applications:
We have been born again in Christ; our old life is old, and it is no longer who we are. Thus, we are to grow closer to Him and be an example to others who are still in the old life without allowing them to influence and entice us.
Take comfort; God does indeed have a plan for you even when you cannot see it. His will for your growth in Him is clear! He wants you to be faithful and good so others can see in you a demonstration model for the new life that they can have too. He gives you the ability, the power, and the strength to trust, endure and to enjoy (Gal. 6:7)! The most important aspect is for us to keep our eyes focused on Christ, with racehorse blinders on to block off the rest.
Three Essential Inductive Questions:
1. How am I encouraged and strengthened?
2. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?
3. Why is it that if we do not lose faith in God, we can better trust in His children? How would this help you believe and trust?
© 2010, R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org/