The ability to hang in there when the going gets tough, is a rare trait these days. Most people have a low threshold of pain and suffering, so they bail out rather quickly when things get hard. But you need to know – real love isn’t like that. It hangs in there.
Endurance is one of the great qualities of genuine love. It doesn’t quit and give up at the least little thing. Rather, it is strong in the face of adversity, and leaps barriers like a deer leaping over a wall.
In 1 Corinthians 13:7, God mentions four things that love always does: it bears all things, it believes all things, it hopes all things, and the last thing mentioned (as if to put an exclamation point on the whole thing), God says that love “endures all things.”
Notice God didn’t say, “Love endures some things.” He said that love “endures all things.” There is nothing that agape love cannot endure!
“Endure” is a Greek verb (hypomenei) that means “to remain, to stand one’s ground, to hold out.” Actually, it’s a compound word, with the preposition “under” attached to the verb – “to stay.” So literally, it means “to stay under.” In other words, love doesn’t seek a way out. It doesn’t wiggle and squirm and manipulate circumstances to get out from under a hardship. It stays right there and remains true – no matter what.
The ultimate illustration of that kind of love is to look at Christ on the cross. The crowd taunted Him by saying, “If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” But He wasn’t moved by their taunts. He stayed there – enduring the suffering to the point of death in order to fulfill His love for you and me.
Now that’s the kind of love God is talking about! And He wants your love to be like that. So, don’t give up and quit when things get tough. Hang in there! Love “endures all things”. Now you know the real meaning of the word.
Don’t wiggle and squirm like a kid. Face your difficulty like an adult. Remember — working things out is always better than looking for an out.