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Love Always Hopes?

Paul’s description of love in 1 Corinthians is repeated in and around church so much, many of us just tune it out. It’s a shame because that passage contains some of the richest truths in the Bible. Whenever I read it, I feel an undercurrent of conviction—a reminder to evaluate my motivations. Why am I serving? Why am I leading? Am I driven by an ever-deepening love for God and others or a toxic love of self?

Confessions aside, I want to draw your focus to one particular verse.

“[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Cor. 13:7, NIV)

Love always hopes.

That’s the love overflowing from the heart of the Good Shepherd, a love that inspires the dogged pursuit of the one lost sheep. It’s the love of the father who scans the horizon, heartsick, hoping to see his son return from a far off country.

Love always hopes.

Not often, not sometimes, not just when you’re on vacation. Always—with every beat of your heart, with every second that ticks by on your watch. That’s the sort of hope God carries for every lost soul who walks the earth. Hope for restoration.


“That’s the sort of hope God carries for every lost soul who walks the earth. Hope for restoration.”


Have you ever met a believer who’s prayed for the salvation of a friend or family member for years—even decades? What a beautiful, supernatural hope. As you talk to them, it’s clear their prayers are rooted in love. If they weren’t, they’d have given up by now. They want their friend to experience the grace they’ve tasted. They want them to know the warmth of walking in the light.

Friend, we serve the God of miracles. This is the God who defeated death—the same God whose Spirit lives in my heart and yours. He is the Sanctifier, the Great Physician. Prince of Peace, King of Kings, God of the Universe.

Never forget what God can do.

The Old Testament offers an excellent word picture. In chapter 37, the prophet Ezekiel receives a vision of a valley full of death—dry, bleached bones as far as the eye can see. As Ezekiel watches, God arranges the bones and covers them with flesh. Finally, God breathes His Spirit into the bodies, giving them new life. This was a prophesy of hope for the Israelites in exile, and it’s an illustration of how often our perception diverges from God’s reality.


“God breathes His Spirit into the bodies, giving them new life.”


This really hits home for me right now. I’ve been walking through a season of grief for a broken friendship. It’s tempting to harbor bitterness and frustration. Many times, I’ve looked up and found myself on that road. But love encourages me to hope. God brought that friend into my life at just the right time. And He hasn’t left the throne.

We may never reconcile. But I have hope. And it’s not some feeble wish. It’s a confident hope that looks forward to a day when things will be different. If not this side of heaven, then, it will be the day two redeemed sinners, glorified and transformed beyond recognition, will worship together at the feet of the King—all wounds forgotten, every tear accounted for.

“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Cor. 13:12, NIV)

What corners of your heart feel deadened and desolate today? Where are you starving for the peace and healing hope can bring?


“If not this side of heaven, then, it will be the day two redeemed sinners, glorified and transformed beyond recognition, will worship together at the feet of the King–all wounds forgotten, every tear accounted for.”


Trust that our Father can straighten what our sin and others’ have bent and made crooked. He can bring dead things back to life. Let that hope lead you to bolder prayers.

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