Daily Devotion

Love is…
 
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
 
I wonder how people assumed that love does not hurt.  It is not listed in any of the verses above.  Walking in God's love is sometimes painful, because in the process of refinement, we get scraped, scratched, and sometimes gouged to get rid of the impurities.  Sometimes the negative thoughts we think must be strained away from the clear waters of our mind to have a place for God's will to lay on our hearts.  If you aren't willing to be hurt or experience pain in the name of God, you may not allow yourself to go through some necessary cleaning. 
 
Moses experienced hurt at the hands of the Children of Israel, because he would repeatedly go before God asking for His mercy on them.  Can't you imagine how that would hurt?  Somebody constantly being faith-less and disobedient, but you believing in them and going before God on their behalf?  Any parents experience that?  Jesus even asked how much longer would He have to be with the people that would not believe or have faith in what He would tell them.(Matthew 8:26, Matthew 17:14-20, Luke 9:38-42)  The disciples, chosen by Jesus, did not believe in their ability to cast out demons, and the man did not believe that the demon was gone from his son in the latter verses. 
 
Love is in the fact that God did something–allowing a part of Himself to die for us; inflicting pain upon Himself for our ultimate elevation.  Sometimes when a person does not believe but looks to what the world is giving them as how their life is going to go, you must keep loving them, having faith in God for them, and simply trusting in God's word for them until they know for themselves.  No, this does not mean stay in an abusive relationship, that's just crazy.  That does not mean you have to condone someone living destructively or inflicting pain on you, your family, or themselves.  No, you are supposed to love your brothers and sisters to the point of willing to die for them.  No, you are supposed to love God even when you do not love yourself–actually I take that back, we are made in the likeness of God, who loves us and created us in His very image–or you feel that no one loves you.  Love bears all things—meaning the good and the bad, stress and strife, even when you are at the lowest point and cannot see above you to go up.  Love hopes for and endures all things; you must endure the difficulties that life gives you and continue to seek God's face in the midst.  You must not doubt God's love because it is there for us all.  God has no favorites.  So I pray that you allow yourself to walk in the love of God and do not dare be afraid to experience everything it has to offer, even if it hurts a little.
 
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."  Ephesians 3:17-19
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