Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

- 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

Wow - these verses are truly amazing! Many of you have probably heard them a lot, but don't let your familiarity with them dull your senses to how truly incredible they are. 

In 1 John 4:8, it says, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." This helps make these verses less abstract because it's not just talking about the concept of love, it's talking about God, our Father who is love itself. God is patient, God is kind. 

Reread the verses by replacing "Love" with "God". 

That's the God we serve. One who never withholds goodness. He gives abundantly in love and kindness. Some of you may be having a hard time taking this in. Maybe you're thinking, "Why did this thing in my life happen then?", "Why don't I feel loved by God if He loves so much?". I'll be honest (and potentially pretty unhelpful) - I don't know. I don't know why certain things have happened or why you feel the way you do, but because of these verses, I ask you to hope again.

Maybe you'll get an explanation one day, but maybe you won't. I believe, though, that God has deep love and healing for your heart. I do know that He sees you. Every one of you and every part of you. He hasn't missed a moment of your life and hasn't wasted one tear that you've cried. He loves you deeply as His child. Let these verses bring hope where hope has been lost. Because your God loves you and has good things ahead for you. Don't fear to hope in love again.

- Michele Houston