Terry R. Baughman
“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1–2).
Love always perseveres, never relents, continually endures. There is no limit to love and no boundary to its persistence. In Paul’s essay on the qualities of love he expanded on the many dimensions and vast extension of its influence. While some may fear that love will be exhausted or stretched to the point of breaking, the extent of love has never been discovered. Love continues as long as it is embraced.
Paul wrote, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17–19). To be filled with the fullness of God is to also be filled with His love; immeasurable, unexplainable, and infinitely enduring.
God is love, and the greatest demonstration of love is always illustrated by the Lord Jesus Christ. His endurance of faith, the total sacrifice of His life on the cross, and His absolutely unconditional love for the worst of humanity provides the greatest example and eternal benchmark of attainment. The writer of Hebrews challenged us to greater endurance, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
Other examples of perseverance are found in Scripture. James referred to the suffering of the prophets and the patriarch Job when he said, “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11). We also can persevere in the midst of hardship knowing that the Lord is “very compassionate and merciful.”
After many years of unfulfilled expectation, Abraham was blessed, “After he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise” (Hebrews 6:15).
Moses chose to suffer affliction with the people of God, forsook the pleasures of the palace, and denied the destiny of Egyptian royalty. The book of Hebrews noted the cause of his faithful perseverance, “He endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27).
Love will enable us to persevere beyond our natural ability to endure. How many mothers and fathers have made tremendous personal sacrifices, stretched beyond their resources or what seemed practical to provide, to save children in trauma or provide for their needs. While we may not feel particularly heroic or unusually brave, when there is a threat of danger to one we love, we may find that we have more stamina, courage, and sacrificial strength than we ever thought possible. A natural reaction of love is self-sacrifice, denying ourselves in order that we might come to the defense of another.
Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
“Love … rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.…” (1 Corinthians 13:6–8 NIV).