I Cor. 13:7 – “[Love] beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” The love of which so much is spoken of in this chapter is absolutely essential to true godliness. So essential is it that if we have everything else but do not have this love, it profits us nothing. This love is not the prerogative of a few, but it must be the possession of all believers. This love has four sweet companions. They are: tenderness that “beareth all things,” faith that “believeth all things,” hope that “hopeth all things” and patience that “endureth all things.”
“Love beareth all things.” This love both covers and bears all things. It never proclaims the errors of others. It refuses to see faults unless it may kindly help in their removal. It stands in the presence of a fault with a finger on its lips. It does not attempt to make a catalog of provocations.
Love “believeth all things.” In reference to our fellow Christians, love always believes the best of them. This love believes good of others as long as it can, and when it is forced to fear that wrong has been done, love will not readily yield to evidence but will give the accused brother or sister the benefit of many doubts. Some persons habitually believe everything that is bad about others; they are not the children of love.
Love “hopeth all things.” Love never despairs. We should never despair of our fellow Christians. As to the unconverted, we will never do anything with them unless we hope great things about them. We need to cultivate great hopefulness about sinners.
Love “endureth all things.” This refers to a patient perseverance in loving. This is, perhaps, the hardest work of all, for many people can be affectionate and patient for a time, but the task is to hold on year after year. In reference to our fellow Christians, love holds out under all rebuffs. We endure not some things but all things for Christ’s sake. As to the unconverted, they may shut their ears and refuse to hear us—never mind, we can endure all things.
We should desire spiritual gifts, but above all we should seek love—the best love, the noblest love, the greatest love—that is, love to God, love to fellow believers, and love to the church of God. This is “a more excellent way.” We should seek this love, first, because we need it. Next, we should seek this love because we can have it. There is no limit to God’s love.
C. H. Spurgeon 1834—1892