In the King James Version, 1 Corinthians 13:7 says:
“[Love] Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
And in the New International Version, it says:
“It [love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
I wasn’t sure at first what I was going to write about, for this particular topic and verse. It’s a bigger task than you might think, writing an article. Having the responsibility of covering a topic, yet with the need to draw somebody in, make them think and challenge themselves, and want to keep reading more. Whenever I struggle with what to write, I always fall back to writing with abandonment, with pure honesty, yet in love.
So, speaking of love…”it believes all things”…”always trusts”…want to honestly know the first question in my mind when I read those two versions of that verse?
What in the world does that mean? And how am I supposed to write about it??
How can one possibly believe all things? And always trust? Is it even possible? Well, let’s find out.
The definition of believe is: to trust in; to hold a firm conviction about (Bible) – Accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth; hold (something) as an opinion; think or suppose (Web)
And the definition of trust is: to place one’s confidence in; to hope; that which has been entrusted. (Bible) – Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something (Web)
I think it’s clear…trusting and believing go hand in hand. As Christians, trust can come easier between us, as we share a similar trust in God. I’m not saying we always trust perfectly; no one can. In a world so full of deception, there will never be a single moment when our doubts are non-existent…and that’s where the struggle is, of trusting always and believing all things.
“Believeth all things; that are to be believed, all that God says in His word, all His truths, and all His promises; and even sometimes in hope against hope, as Abraham did, relying upon the power, faithfulness, and other perfections of God; though such a man will not believe every spirit, every preacher and teacher, nor any but such as agree with the Scriptures of truth, the standard of faith and practice; nor will he believe every word of man, which is the character of a weak and foolish man; indeed, a man of charity or love is willing to believe all the good things reported of men; he is very credulous of such things, and is unwilling to believe ill reports of persons, or any ill of men; unless it is open and glaring and is well supported, and there is full evidence of it; he is very incredulous in this respect.”
In that excerpt, from Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, it first mentions believing ALL that God says in His word, NOT what every man says. Our God is faithful in every way, and is the definition of truth…while trusting in Him can be hard sometimes, He has always proven to us that He keeps His promises. Mankind on the other hand, not so much. Gill describes the word of man as “the character of a weak and foolish man”; we are not perfect, like God, and not always faithful like Him either. What it’s not saying, is that we should never trust man…that would go against the Word of God…but instead, to give them the benefit of the doubt. In other words, believe the best about all things…trust until we have reason not to.
In John 15:9-10 it says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love.”
This is an example of just how much God loves us, a guide to how we are supposed to love, and a reminder: that if we obey His commands, we will remain in that love. Keeping that in mind, let’s head over to John 10.
In verses 22 and 23, to give you some background, it says, “Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.” And to continue, verse 24 says, “The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.””
In verses 25-27, we get our answer: “Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.””
If we love Christ as He loves us, we will be able to believe, firmly, everything in His word. And if we follow His examples of love, we not only will have reason to trust each other, but no reason to doubt others. And this leads us right back to believing the best about things. If we are truly applying what God says about love in our lives, then even when it is hard to trust, we will still have a reason too.
Now, remember back a few paragraphs when I mentioned how much deception is in the world? Have you wondered yet how to trust always, even when you might be deceived? I have. Yes, God tells us to believe all things, to trust always…but, He also warns us to not believe everything or trust always.
In 2 Timothy 3:12-14 it says, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it.”
We learned from God and what he tells us in His word, and we can discern through what we know and what we’ve learned that He is a just and righteous God, One who is faithful. We know that we can place our trust in Him. But as you go about your everyday lives, you will not ever meet one as trustworthy as Him. No, instead you will be faced with persecution, and lies, and deception. When the time comes, and it will, you will have a choice: keep believing in that person, even as they show you that they are not trustworthy? Or take a step back and realize what you are being drawn into? Do not trust unconsciously; do not be drawn into deception. And if the love of Christ is in you and in them, then there shouldn’t be deception or lies, instead just pure belief, complete trust – in all things – because of that love.
I’ll end with this challenge: Drown yourself in such a love that refuses to be deceived. Bury yourself in such a love that blinds you to doubts and worry and only allows you to see the very best until the exact moment you need your eyes opened to the lies you are surrounded by. And lastly, grow in such a love that spreads like a wildfire, until the whole earth is shaking with joy and God’s glory is being lifted higher than we can possibly imagine. And even then, don’t stop loving.