Daily Archives: February 13, 2012

Love Always Hopes; Always Perseveres

Love believes all things, hopes all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7

Love always hopes; always perseveres.

Love always hopes because love sees possibilities where none seems to exist. Love always hopes because love never despairs. Love is not dependent on the fulfillment of immediate expectations. Love takes the long term point of view. Love will not give up on others. Love does not give up on God’s purposes. Love keeps us hopeful, in all situations, against all evidence, because hope is stored up for us in heaven (Colossians 1:5).

Webster’s dictionary defines hope as a desire accompanied by expectation of or believe in fulfillment…to desire with expectation of obtainment…to expect with confidence.

How can love always hope when the situation seems hopeless? How can you continue to love when your son or daughter rejects your faith and all the values you taught them to respect? How can you continue to love God when an incurable disease is destroying your loved one? How can we continue to love when prospects in this life seem hopeless?

The answer is that love’s source is in God. Love’s hope is not just wishful thinking. Love’s hope is not just unrealistic expectations. Love’s hope finds its confidence in God’s eternal plan which is beyond human understanding.

In hoping, love always perseveres and never looks back. Love never stops, never quits, never doubts, and never goes against the good. Love perseveres because Christ perseveres, because God perseveres, and because the Holy Spirit enables us to persevere.

Relationships are never a walk in the park every single day. No matter how much you love someone and they love you, there will be moments of disappointment, struggle, discontentment, and resentment. The simple reason for that is that relationships consist of human beings and human beings are not perfect. We all hurt those we love and they hurt us, whether it’s intentional or unintentional.

No one was more betrayed and hurt by those He loved than Jesus. The very fact that He had to suffer the pain of the cross was due to the fact that those He created turned against Him and sinned. God had to sacrifice His own Son because His creation failed to love Him as He so loved them. But despite our rejection of God, He did make that sacrifice, paying the ultimate price to reconcile with us, His fallen creatures. Love won out because our Father was willing to do what had to be done to restore our relationship with Him.

When you pray for others, do you pray with perseverance? Do you pray with the hope that they’ll see the Father come through for them? Do you pray with the hope that you’ve asked according to God’s will? When someone’s heading down the wrong path, do you have hope for them that they can be redeemed? Do you find hope in the fact that everything is working toward the purposes of God?

Love always perseveres in order to avoid the dishonor of letting someone else down who is depending on us, who believes in us, for whom we are the hands and heart of Christ. Love does not walk away from commitments when it would be easy and reasonable to do so. Love endures to the end. The world has a lot of starters but very few finishers. Love finishes the race. Love does not give up. Love does not quit. Love perseveres in the battle against evil because it wants to win the victory.

When Jesus, who is love, came to earth to bridge the gap between us and God, He brought us hope. In Him we can rest assured that all things are being held together and sustained by our Creator, who loves us and calls us according to His purposes. Love doesn’t look at this world all around in despair. Love hopes in all things.

Scripture to encourage you in your walk today:

As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Romans 5:3-4

Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. James 5:11

Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:14

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

…Being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:7

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Today’s Challenge: Pray for perseverance in trials and that the Spirit will continue to feed your hope in the things to come.

Week 49: Time – A Season for Everything

I woke up another year older today. Crazy how time has its strange affect on us. I’m not saying that I’m looking ahead with dread on my future, but rather with hope. 2012 will be a big year for myself and many of my friends.

We’re all in the midst of growth and change; adventure and challenge. And it’s about to get bigger, better, broader, and more unfathomable than we’ve already begun to imagine. I believe that God will be doing great things in Minneapolis; all for the greater good of His Kingdom and His glory…not our own.

I was combing through some items I wrote a while back and came across the following. It fits quite nicely with how I’m feeling/what I’m facing this week.

Time. Why is it that there seems to be a sudden change, a shift rather, in the time one knew as a child to that which we see as adults? I can remember when I was a little girl, I had all the time in the world. Although the lives of my dolls lasted only a few weeks, if not days, before they too moved on to a place I called Barbie heaven, my days seem to last forever — full of freedom and no responsibilities.

As I got older, time sped up with each passing year. Then came high school. Gone were the days of boundless freedom and my carefree attitude. More responsibility was laid at my feet — a part-time job along with the family business — sporting events — concerts and drama productions — practices and such. Senior year brought with it college visits, ACTs, applications and prep. I was going to be an adult…

College flew by – there are still days that I wish I was still there. Four and half years of my life dedicated to post-secondary education. Time had been equally shared between homework, CRU, work, friends and classes…not to mention the occasional sporting event. As graduation approached, I found myself earnestly searching for a job…a full time job with benefits. I also found myself planning a moving trip…just 50 miles south of where I had gone to college.

Now, I find myself in the real world. I hold a lead agent position with a great company. Days run together so often, I find myself forgetting when a certain event/issue happened. By the time Friday rolls around, Monday seems as though it occurred eons ago. What is with that?

It’s amazing at how fast time seems to slip on by…and I have to force myself to stop just to catch my breath. Time…seamless and sometimes, seemingly endless. Adults complain that they don’t have enough of it and the young and elderly abound with it. I’m beginning to understand the first part of that last sentence…eight hours in a day are not enough to get all of my work done at times. A recent event my life brought that to a halt.

Time. We’re only promised what God’s plan entails for each human being before we’re called home — that is, for those of us who chose to believe and follow Him. I recently lost a loved one to a long battle with cancer and am reminded at what little time we and hat we are not promised tomorrow. We’re only promised this moment….now. I refuse to fall trap to the day-to-day living that I see in the lives of those around me. I’m called to rise above it…I only pray that God will guide me as I step forward on that note. It is also with a farewell (for now) that I leave you with a poem, written by the hand of God.

Ecclesiastes 3
A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.
Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.
And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.
I thought in my heart,
“God will bring to judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
a time for every deed.”
I also thought, “As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?