1 Corinthians 13:6–7

“Love … believes all things, hopes all things …” (1 Cor. 13:7).

Everywhere we look in our culture we see signs of broken relationships. Our situation is so desperate that many people flock to television and pop-psychology with hopes of figuring out how to develop good friendships and maintain peace with loved ones.

We are so eager for happiness in our relationships that we often seek to avoid disrupting them at all costs. However, while the Bible is clear relationships are extremely important, we must be careful not to exalt peace at the expense of truth. Otherwise the way we relate to others will be merely superficial.

Sadly, many believers are unwilling to stand for essential truths of the faith and instead ignore such matters for fear a friendship might be lost. This concern is not without merit; after all, the history of Christian theology is filled with relationships broken because of a doctrinal disagreement. While it is wrong to break fellowship over nonessential matters (Rom. 14:1–12), we have not really loved others if we tolerate sin or allow heresy to run rampant in the church. Sometimes it is necessary to risk ending a relationship for the sake of truth. Love rejoices not in evil but in the truth (1 Cor. 13:6), and thus it is impossible to have love without truth and vice versa.

Paul also tells us in today’s passage that love “believes all things” (v. 7). “All things” refers to that which God has revealed to us; thus, love believes all things in God’s revelation. God is the Lord of truth, and if we love Him with our whole heart, we will rejoice in the truth, and thus we will rejoice in His Word.

Moreover, the secondary referent of “all things” is other people in general. Christians, then, are to be people who trust others. Discernment is necessary of course, lest we become too credulous. Nevertheless, we are to take others at their word, especially other believers, unless circumstances merit otherwise.

Finally, love “hopes all things” (v. 7). This use of hope is not a wish for things that might not happen, as the term is often used in our culture. Paul is instead referring to trust in the future promises of God, which are immutable and sure to come to pass.

Coram Deo

Scripture speaks of hope as an anchor (Heb. 6:19) because it looks forward to the sure promises of our God. Hope is not merely a desire for something that may not come to pass. All the blessings and glory the true and wise God has promised to His people will most certainly come to pass. Therefore, we have no reason to be ashamed. Do you trust the promises of God to finish His good work in you (Phil. 1:6)? Ask Him to help you hope on Him today.

For Further Study