Love always perseveres. Of all the words in the Biblical definition, this one may be the least romantically inclined. Perseverance has to do with toughing something out… the runner enduring the marathon… the soldier hanging in through deployment… the patient enduring and persevering through treatment.
But it’s not a romantic word. And yet, the implication of “persevering” has presented us with some of the most wonderful and dramatic pictures of couples leaning on each other until death parts them. God perseveres in His stubborn love for us even when we reject and turn our backs on Him.
So far we’ve thought about what love does. In the Star Wars saga, Yoda was training Luke Skywalker to harness the power of the Force to be a Jedi. In frustration at one point Luke threw up his hands and gave up. Yoda challenged him to keep on and finally Luke said, “I’ll try.” Yoda spoke a now -classic line out when he replied, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
I like that. “Do or do not.” Love or don’t love. There is no “try.” We either show love to our beloved or we show them something else. But we are doing… or we’re not doing. There is no try.
Love perseveres. It endures all things. It doesn’t quit when discouraged or give up when failure happens. It doesn’t walk away when something captures its attention and distracts, and it doesn’t shy away from commitment.
Love endures. Love commits and stays by the commitment. Sadly today, most of the people in the wedding party of a newlywed couple and a sizable majority of the audience do not believe this “til death do us part” commitment is going to last. We silently sigh when we hear that and say, “Yeah, right.”
But love perseveres. It hangs in there. It makes a commitment and lives it out, even when it doesn’t feel good. We are to love each other, we are to infuse our relationships with a love that is God-given and God-sustained.
God loves us with an everlasting, persevering love. It doesn’t leave when we don’t live up to our end of the bargain. Love never fails. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres.
In Ephesians 5:1-2 we read, “Be imitators of God… and walk in love.” We are to imitate, to “mimic” the love that God shows us. And we are to love each other with that enduring, abiding love.
Love never fails.
“Dear children let us not love in word or tongue but with action and with deeds.” (1 John 3:18)
FOR REFLECTION: Identify the area in your life where you are most tempted to give up. Pray specifically that this word will encourage you there.