Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Enduring I

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  -- I Cor. 13:7
The 13th chapter of Corinthians gets used so often for weddings that I think the first reaction most of us have to the chapter is that it's talking about human love.  I do not think this is accurate.  I think it is talking about the character of God's love, especially in the middle section.  Picking up from a sermon I heard Sunday, trouble always comes, and we cannot grow into mature faith-filled adults in Christ without trials and troubles.  A line from that sermon has stuck with me: "We may never overcome our troubles, but we can endure our troubles living in the spirit."   Believing in God doesn't guarantee the absence of trouble, it guarantees us eternal abiding love and presence; a hand always to hold.  God doesn't leave us in our troubles, God walks with us in our endurance of trouble.  

We don't believe in Christ because He makes our way easy, keeps us safe, hands us life on a silver platter, or erases all pain, grief, and suffering.  It doesn't work that way.  We believe because His love endures our pain, our sin, our struggle and He gives back to us the assurance of the salvation of hope and endurance to the very end of time.  Endurance forges character stronger than steel.  God's love lifts us up for endurance in the battles of life. Through God's love a brand is burned on our character, His brand.  Our need may be great, in fact, it may be huge but perseverance in the love of God keeps us patient and kind and waiting for perfection to come and the impartial to pass away.  We dare not ever lose sight of this if we care about the strength of our character at all!  Feel Christ's brand of possession on your character and on your whole person and trust your faith in Him.

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