By, Isam Itson III
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. – 1 Corinthians 13:7-8
Love holds on to faith and hope in the fulfillment of God’s ultimate purpose for creation and the possibility for the redemption of any person, to their last breath. If the goal of life is temporary “success” or “achievement” then there is reason to doubt, give up, and abandon hope in other people’s potential for transformation under overwhelming circumstances or social pressures. But according to the scriptures, this is not God’s goal for human life.
God created us for a relationship with himself and each other that honors his love for us and the rest of his creation. “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26).
Then God revealed himself and his purpose to these unique creatures, we humans, whom he made to be like him on the earth, “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28).
In addition, he revealed that he had also provided for their material needs so that they could fulfill their creative calling, “And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” (Genesis 1:29, 30).
There will never be enough for all of us to live like kings off of the labor of others. But there will always be enough for all of us to live, as we generously work for the benefit of others, helping them bless other people. In this, we contribute to everyone who desires to pursue the meaningful and productive life that God intends for all people, through all times. Helping people help others is God’s purpose for human society. It reflects God’s love for us revealed in his creation of us and his blessing for us.
Even when we broke faith with God and sought to take our lives into our own hands God still reached out to us. He continued to reveal himself to people and invite them into the renewal of their righteous relationship with him and just relationships with each other. From the third page of the Bible to the end, we have the record of God’s ultimate fulfillment of his love for us expressed in the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). God held nothing back in rescuing us from the consequences of our folly.
Therefore, at the heart of our faith, or trust in God, is the belief that no one is beyond God’s reach, because God was willing to pay the ultimate price to honor the integrity of his love for us. He sacrificed his only Son, Jesus Christ, so that our relationship with him could be restored. God’s call for all of those who put their faith in him is that we share his creative, redeeming, and transforming love, wisdom, and power with others.
God’s love never fails. This means that as God’s people, we are willing to stand, with God, and one another, with God, confronting the darkness of hopelessness, helplessness, deprivation, and despair in the lives of the people around us. We encourage and help each other stay true to our calling in the face of all of the physical, social, and environmental challenges, obstacles, and tragedies that people encounter in our chaotic world. God held nothing back in sacrificing for us. He calls us to hold nothing back in response to him.
Loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving our neighbor as ourselves, is impossible unless we trust that God has provided and will continue to provide everything and everyone we need to enable us to honor his love for all people. In chapter 8 of Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, he said it like this in verses 35-39,
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God’s love never fails. There is always hope for the salvation of other people in light of God’s power, grace, and love. Therefore our faith in God for the fulfillment of his purpose, no matter what it costs us, is always trustworthy and true.
1. Knowing all that God gives us, what are some of the things that we can give to show our love to God and others?
2. Why is it so difficult to rest in God’s faithfulness to provide for our material needs? ?
3. When you do things in your own power what is the outcome? How can you help yourself and others avoid this?