Spiritual Love(18)

Spiritual Love

1 Corinthians 13: 7

“[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…”

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This is the 18th session on the spiritual love chapter.

In the last session, we learned about the meaning of the word saying, “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things.”

I explained that to bear all things means to bear with everything that is not right according to love.

To believe all things is to trust God the Father 100% because we love Him, and we trust any person because we believe in him/her.

To hope all things is to wait and look forward to what we believe until it comes true.

It is to look forward to living in heaven forever happily and to wait for others until they change.

Love is also to endure all things. Until we accomplish perfect love, we have to endure with toil and patience.

But if we believe and hope all things with love, we can endure all things. Finally, we will bear precious fruit. Then, what and how are we supposed endure?

I hope you will gain the wisdom to endure all things with the power of love through this message.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will march on with joy and thanks and surely enter into New Jerusalem that you long for so much.

Body

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, fourthly, the verse says, “love endures all things”.

If you love you can endure all things. Then, what do we endure? It means we endure all the aftermath that comes to us when we bear all things.

When we bear with all things that are not in accordance with love, there will be some aftermath from it.

Here what we mean by “aftermath” is a situation that results from something else. When there is wind on a river or sea, there will be waves. Even after the wind calms down, there will still be some ripples remaining. The “aftermath” of bearing all things is something like these ripples.

When we bear with all things, it will not just end when we bear them. There will aftermath or aftereffects from it.
Some tests may come, or we may have pain in our hearts. That is to say, we will have a time of trial.

For example, Jesus said in Matthew 5:39, “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”

As said, even if somebody slaps you on the right cheek, you do not fight back, but just endure it.

Then, is it all over? There will be aftereffects from it. You will have pain.

Your cheek will have pain, but the pain that is in the heart is greater. Of course, people have different reasons for experiencing pain in the heart. Some people have pain in heart because they think they are slapped for no reason, and they are angry.

Also, some may have pain in heart feeling sorry that they made the other person angry.

Some may feel sorry seeing a brother who cannot hold his temper, but expresses it physically right away.

The aftermath of bearing with something can come from the heart alone, or it can also come by way of external circumstances.

For example, somebody slapped you on the right cheek. So you turned the other also according to the word. Then, he hits you on the left cheek, too.

You bore with it following the word, but the situation got worse in reality.

This was the case with Daniel. He did not compromise knowing that he would be thrown into lion’s den.
Because he loved God, he never ceased to pray even in life-threatening situation. Also, he did not act with evil toward those who were trying to kill him.

So, did everything change for the better for him since he was bearing everything according to the word of God?

No. He was cast into the lion’s den!

Of course eventually he was protected from the lions and gave glory to God more greatly, but at first, he had an ‘aftermath of bearing’.

We may think all the tests should go away if you follow the word of God and bear with the things that are not in accordance with love. Then, what is the reason why trials will follow?

It’s the providence of God to make us perfect and give us amazing blessings.

The crops will bear healthy and strong harvest by bearing with the rain, wind, and scorching sunshine.

In this same way, we who live lives of Believers are also born as true wheat of God through the times of enduring.

The providence of God is such that we come forth as true children of God through trials.

But this does not mean that God will refine His children according to His will like a dictator.

He acts according to His justice, and He refines us according to His justice.

The enemy devil and Satan disrupt the lives of God’s children when they try to live in the light. Also, if anybody shows any kind of point for accusation or blemish, then they accuse him/her.

An example is when somebody acts with evil against you and you bear it on the outside, but still have ill-feelings on the inside.

The enemy devil and Satan know this and bring accusations against you for those feelings. Then, God has to allow trials according to the accusation.

To put an end to trials, we have to accomplish heart of spirit that has no evil.

Until we are acknowledged that we don’t have evil in heart, there will be tests called ‘refining trials’. Of course, even after we cast off all sins and become completely sanctified, there can be trials.

This kind of trial is allowed to make us more perfect and to give us greater blessings.

Through this, we don’t just stay at the level of having no evil but we will accomplish greater love and more perfect goodness having no spot or blame whatsoever.

Through this, God gives us greater blessings. God lets us show greater faith during the trial, so He can bless us abundantly.

It’s not only for personal blessings; the same principle applies when He accomplishes His kingdom more greatly. For God to show great works, the justice has to be met.

By showing great faith and deeds of love, we have to prove that we have the vessel to receive the answer. This is right according to justice so that the enemy devil cannot object to it.

So, sometimes, God can drive away tests and protect us, but sometimes just allows them.

If we endure with only goodness and love, God lets us give glory to Him more greatly with greater victory and He gives us greater rewards.

Likewise, you heard many times that the results of such trials is the blessings and love of God the Father.

Especially, if you overcome the persecutions and hardships that you receive for the sake of the Lord, you will surely receive great blessings.

Matthew 5:11-12 says, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

But is there anybody who thinks of trials as something difficult and something to fear?

If you believe all things and hope all things with love, you can overcome any kind of trial.

Then, how specifically are we supposed to believe, hope, and endure all things?

First, we have to believe the love of God until the end, even during the trial.

Why does God allow us to go through trials?
1 Peter 1:7 says, “…so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”

God wants to give us praise and glory and honor when our lives are over on this earth. He earnestly wants to enjoy all the good things with us forever.

He refines us because He loves us.

Especially, those of you who are listening to this gospel of holiness, you should believe that you are receiving greater love.

You have more things to endure because you are listening to the holiness gospel. God tells us to cast off all forms of evil and become sanctified.

Also, to live according to the word of God completely and not compromising with the world, you have more occasions to be faced with unjust sufferings.

Then, each time, you have to believe that you are receiving special love of God. Then, rather than being discouraged, you will be thankful because God is leading you to better dwelling place in heaven. The love you are now receiving is truly great!

Also, we have to believe in the love of God, and we have to believe until the end. There may be some pains in the trials of faith. If the pain is severe and it goes on for a long time, we may think, “Why doesn’t God help me? Does He love me any more?”

If we have doubts like this, we may want to give up, and we may even have complaints and resentment.

But in these times, we have to remember the love of God more clearly and endure the trials.

We have to believe that God the Father wants to lead us to better heavenly dwelling places because He loves us.

If we endure until the end, we will finally bear fruit of limitless value.

James 1:4 says, “And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

If we believe the love of God and endure until the end, we will finally become a perfect person. Likewise, trial is God’s love that touches us delicately.

I hope you will firmly and unchangingly believe this love so that you will endure and overcome all trials.

Secondly, to endure all things, we have to believe that the trials are a shortcut to fulfill our hopes.

Romans 5:3-4 says, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;”

The tribulation of trials accomplishes hope. It’s like the shortcut to accomplish our hope.

What kind of hope is it? It will accomplish the hope of New Jerusalem that you desire so earnestly.

If we overcome tests and trials by endurance, we will finally change.

You may think like, “Oh, when can I change?” but if you endure and keep on changing again and again, you will finally become a true and perfect child of God resembling Him.

If you endure and overcome each day, you will finally have the qualifications to enter into New Jerusalem.

Then, you will actually be able to reach New Jerusalem.

Therefore, when a trial comes, you should not avoid it but try to pass it with your best.

Of course, it is natural desire for a man to take the easy way. It is natural that we want to have comfort and peace.

But if we try to get away from trials, we will arrive at the desired destination, but much later.

For example, there is a person who gives you problems constantly and in every matter. You do not openly show it on the outside, but you have discomfort whenever you meet that person.

So, you just want to avoid him. In this situation, you should not just try to ignore the situation, but you have overcome it actively.

You have to endure with the hardship that you have with him, and accomplish the heart to truly understand and forgive the other person.

Then, God will give you grace and you will change.

Likewise, each of the trials will become the stepping stones and the shortcut on your way to fulfill your hope.
Do you want to change into spirit quickly?

If you really want to change, then whenever you face a trial, you should rejoice thinking that you are now taking the shortcut.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will endure all things with joy and boldness and march forward towards your hope.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Thirdly, to endure all things, we have to do only good.

When faced with aftereffects, even after enduring all things according to the word of God, usually people complain against God.

They complain saying, “Why does the situation not change even after acting by the word? Why does God not work?”

But as you face trials, you have to think only good things and do only good things.

How did Daniel act? Did he complain and have regrets because, even after praying, he was going to be thrown into the lion’s den?

Daniel never complained against God.

He never disappointed God with disheartening words and complaints.

Also, he never complained against the king nor did he react with evil toward those who had plotted against him.

Did Daniel just quietly endure because he had no power and he was not wise?
He always prayed to God and communicated with God in so much wisdom, and he certainly knew about the schemes that the evil ministers were making.

Also, Daniel was loved by the king so much. He had much authority and power. But because he knew the will of God, he reacted only in goodness.

As Daniel acted only in goodness even at the moment he was thrown into lion’s den, God showed a miracle.

He sent His angels to close the mouths of the lions and they protected Daniel from any kind of harm. Instead of Daniel, those evil people who made the scheme against Daniel became the lions’ prey.

It may seem to be foolish to react with goodness to those who act with evil toward us.

But if we know the law of the spiritual realm, it is wise to act only with goodness.

From a fleshly view, tests or trials seem to be coming from other people or from some situations.

But spiritually, all Trials of Faith are brought by the enemy devil and Satan. Namely, tests and trials are battles between good and evil.

Thus, we should not fight with men but with the enemy devil and Satan and we must win. To win the victory in this spiritual battle, we have to fight according to the rules of the spiritual realm.

What is the law of spiritual realm? It is that goodness finally wins.

Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” If we act in goodness this way, it may seem that we face loss and we lose at the moment, but in fact, it’s the opposite.

It’s because the just and good God controls all the fortune, misfortune, and life and death of mankind according to the rules of the spiritual realm.

It is law that goodness wins.

Therefore, when we are faced with tests, trials, and persecutions, we have to act only in goodness.

For example, some of you are facing persecutions from your unbelieving family members.

You are bearing and enduring with the persecutions to keep your faith. In this situation, the persecutions will quickly go away and your family will be evangelized when you act only in goodness.

But a person may think, “Why is my husband so evil? Why is my wife so evil?” They try to persuade the persecuting family members and win them by argument.

But then, the test will become even bigger and longer. What is goodness in this kind of situation?

Suppose you are telling them about the gospel and about the church, but they don’t believe but rather they persecute you.

Then, you first have to try to melt their hearts with love and touch their hearts.

You have to pray with love and serve them in the Lord. You have to become the light that shines brightly on your family. Also, in any kind of situation, you have to think in goodness and confess with faith.
If you do only good towards them, God will do His work at the most appropriate time. He will drive away the enemy devil and Satan and move the heart of your family members, too.

All problems will be solved when you act in goodness according to the rules of God.

The most powerful weapon in spiritual battle is not in the power or wisdom of men but the goodness of God. Therefore, I hope you will endure in goodness only and do good things.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will give glory to God with great victory.

Conclusion

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, is there anybody around you whom you think is very difficult to be with and difficult to bear?

There are many kinds of people in the church, in family, and in your workplaces.

Some people make mistakes all the time and cause damage and give hard times to others. Some complain a lot and even become sulky over small things.

But if you accomplish true love in you, there will be nobody with whom you cannot bear. It’s because you will love others as yourself, just as Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

You will understand, forgive, and embrace everything of that person as if you are in his/her heart itself.

God the Father also understands us and endures with us like this. Until you cultivate this love in you, I hope you will live like a pearl oyster.

When a foreign object like sand, seaweed, or particle of shell comes into its body, a pearl oyster changes it into precious pearl.

I hope you will not just remain in pain of bearing with love but endure it with faith and hope.

I hope you will make the beautiful pearl called spiritual love.

If you make the best quality pearl, you will go into New Jerusalem through the pearl gate.

I pray in the name of the Lord that, when you pass through the pearl gates, you will be able to confess to the Father God, “Thank You for bearing, believing, hoping, and enduring with all things for me.”

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