“4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
-1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I’m sure most of us know these verses pretty well as they are the most commonly used wedding verses. We sit in weddings with tears in our eyes as we watch the happy couple vow to love each other this way for the rest of their lives.
We also read these verses and aspire to love those around us with this kind of love, using these verses as our measure of how well we love.
What can be easily overlooked is that this is God’s definition of love. It was God who breathed these words into Paul’s heart before they ever came through Paul’s pen. Not only is this how God loves us, this is who God is.
God is love. (See 1 John 4:8) And love is patient and kind, so for all you math brains out there it looks like we’ve got ourselves a pretty well balanced equation. If God=love and love=patient and kind then God=patient and kind. Continuing this through the entire verse sheds light on the loving character of God. This IS who he is.
God is not proud, boastful or rude. He doesn’t demand his own way, hence free will and the reason there is so much darkness and heartache that surrounds us. He could just demand his own way, making us robots, and we would live in a sin free world, but that’s not how God sees love. Love is a two way street and he wants us to come willingly to him with the same kind of love in our eyes.
God is not irritable, and He keeps no record of being wronged. This makes a mighty difference in the way we see trials, doesn’t it. I went through a season where the punches kept coming and I didn’t think my heart could take anymore disappointment or heartache. I questioned whether or not it was some sort of punishment; that I was being paid back for something that I had done. The truth is, the moment I asked Jesus into my heart and began that love relationship with Him, every trespass I had committed or ever would commit was cleared from the record. My loving God had no record of my wrongs, so how could he be paying me back for something that wasn’t there.
God does not rejoice in injustice but celebrates whenever truth wins out. The Voice paraphrase of verse 6 says that truth is love’s delight. Truth is God’s delight. We are fed lies every day. Cultural lies. Spiritual lies. Self image lies. Lies, lies lies. Lying is one of the enemy’s best tactics, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to filter out the truth because the world has almost willingly swallowed the lies they have been fed. But can you imagine the dancing God does in heaven when one of his children sees through the lies and grabs hold of truth? When we stand up for truth and refuse the lie, our Father rejoices. Rejoices!
And here’s my favorite part of all. God never gives up. His love never fails. God never fails. He endures through every circumstance. It doesn’t matter what you are going through, God will endure through it. He will never leave you nor forsake you, and He will carry you through.
Perhaps today God is asking you to see who He is. He will reveal himself, we just need to look up long enough to see him.
Father God, Lover of our souls, please show yourself today. We want to see you as you really are. Show us who you are in our current situations. Reveal yourself and strengthen our faith as we not only learn or understand, but experience the beauty of all that you are. We love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.