“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:7/NIV).
Now I am moving on to the last part of this verse. In the New International Version you find the word ‘persevere’ whereas in the King James Version we read ‘endure’. Both words are similar in meaning.
In Strong’s Concordance I have discovered a number of New Testament verses in which the same Greek word is used as here in the last part of 1 Corinthians 13:7. I have read these verses as well as what is written before and after them. In doing so, I came across some precious bible texts worth considering and studying.
Today I want to focus on two questions:
- What do Christians have to endure, in what circumstances to persevere?
- How can we do so?
My answer to the first question is pretty simple. At first this concerns the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Secondly, some new situations and difficulties might arise as we go along.
How can we persevere? The answer suggested by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:31 and in 1 Corinthians 13:7d is: Pursue Christian love. As we think of and as we learn Christian love we will become more apt to cope with many situations.
Loving dedication to a challenge or to a task might produce great results. As you passionately apply yourself to something, you will not that easily be irritated and give up.
It is not merely academic studies by which we can learn loving perseverance. Also the examples of others, who have coped with various challenges and difficulties, can be inspiring.
The attitudes acquired by little children largely are not a result of verbal instruction. Children just follow what they see in others. Very often it is the personal example of a significant person that makes children adopt certain attitudes and views.
I also like to mention the benefit we can have by reading biographies. Christians will profit by considering the life of Jesus or of the apostles. Even reading accounts on some of the Christian martyrs may help form an attitude of loving perseverance.
But most of all, learning to trust God and to cling to the hope he provides, will help Christians persevere. It is a trusting relationship with God that can make a difference!