Love Will Not Fail You!September 2, 2017
In a world filled with fighting, instability, and increasing uncertainty, there is something we can hold on to that will never change or fall from its firmly planted, sure place — and that is the love of God. God’s love is an anchor that will keep us from being swept away, even by the most ominous waves that threaten our peace in life and our security in Christ.
Referring to this kind of love, First Corinthians 13:8 says it “…never faileth….” The word “faileth” is translated from the Greek word pipto, a word that dates back to classical Greece and generally means to fall from a high position. It was used on rare occasions to depict a warrior who fell in battle. In many places, the word pipto is also used to depict falling into ruin, destruction, misfortune, or disappointment.
But in First Corinthians 13:8, Paul uses this word to affirm the eternal truth that love — the God-kind of love — never falls, fails, or disappoints.
It is simply the truth that human beings often fail each other. I’m sure you’ve felt let down by someone else at some point in life. And if you’re honest about it, you’ll have to admit that you have been guilty of letting others down at times as well.
But God’s love never fails and never lets anyone down. It is a love that is always reliable and can always be depended on.
People you know and respect may fall from a high position they hold in life — and it can be emotionally difficult to see it happen. At other times, fellow warriors may fall or stumble into some kind of misfortune that leaves you feeling perplexed and disappointed. But you can be completely sure that the love of God will never fail you or let you down. This love is constant, unchanging, and unbendable. It is a love you will always find to be reliable and true — a love on which you can depend.
Of course we know that God is love (1 John 4:8). And, of course, He can be utterly, completely depended on at all times. He is unbendable in His love and goodness toward us. God not only wants us to learn to depend on Him, but He also wants us to yield to Him and give place to this God-kind of love that is present inside each of us as believers (see Romans 5:5).
Each one of us must ask ourselves whether we’re actually functioning in this high-level, God-kind of love. The more we know of Him, the more we will be able to imitate Him and live in this kind of love toward others — and the more reliable and dependable we will become in our own dealings in life. That is why the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to write these famous words in First Corinthians 13:4-8. This passage of Scripture is God’s mirror for us to look into so we can see how well we’re doing at walking in the love of God.
An expanded, interpretive translation of this entire passage could read as follows:
Love patiently and passionately bears with others for as long as patience is needed;
Love doesn’t demand others to be like itself; rather, it is so focused on the needs of others that it bends over backwards to become what others need it to be;
Love is not ambitious, self-centered, or so consumed with itself that it never thinks of the needs or desires that others possess;
Love doesn’t go around talking about itself all the time, constantly exaggerating and embellishing the facts to make it look more important in the sight of others;
Love does not behave in a prideful, arrogant, haughty, superior, snooty, snobbish, or clannish manner;
Love is not rude and discourteous — it is not careless or thoughtless, nor does it carry on in a fashion that would be considered insensitive to others;
Love does not manipulate situations or scheme and devise methods that will twist situations to its own advantage;
Love does not deliberately engage in actions or speak words that are so sharp, they cause an ugly or violent response;
Love does not deliberately keep records of wrongs or past mistakes;
Love does not feel overjoyed when it sees an injustice done to someone else, but is elated, thrilled, ecstatic, and overjoyed with the truth;
Love protects, shields, guards, covers, conceals, and safeguards people from exposure;
Love strains forward with all its might to believe the very best in every situation;
Love always expects and anticipates the best in others and the best for others;
Love never quits, never surrenders, and never gives up;
Love never disappoints, never fails, and never lets anyone down.
I hope you will take a few moments to really ponder these words and ask yourself whether you could pass a “love test.” Are you continually developing in the love of God, or are you aware that you have some serious adjustments to make in the way you’re behaving toward others?
We are all growing and maturing in the God-kind of love. It should be our aim to participate in God’s love in our personal lives and then manifest His love to those around us. How we relate to God and to others is the most important issue of our lives — especially as the world grows darker and the times become more volatile and uncertain. By living a life of love, we can shine a light that shows a lost world the way to Christ.
How can Denise and I and our team be praying for you this month? We count it as one of our highest honors to pray for you about the things that are on your heart. We want to be your prayer partners! Please pray for us, too, as we continue to grow our outreaches and impact others with the love of God in this part of the world.
We love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families