“Love never fails.” — 1 Corinthians 13:8a NIV
Everything in this world wears out. It’s a simple law of physics — specifically Newton’s 2nd law of thermodynamics. Summed up simply, it says that everything wears out all by itself. You don’t have to work hard to get things to fall apart; they do all by themselves. In fact, everything in the universe takes constant investment of energy to keep it from crumbling into disrepair and giving out.
If you light a candle or a light bulb, it eventually burns out. If you clean your bathroom, it gets dirty again (seemingly instantaneously), and you have to clean it again. Doing laundry and washing dishes are never ending tasks — as is the maintenance required on the machines that help us do it. Build a building in the middle of a field, but don’t do anything to keep it up. It will end up a pile of rocks, rabbits nests and weeds. Turn a jungle or a swamp into productive farm land, but don’t maintain it, and eventually it’ll be a jungle or a swamp again. Even the movie Galaxy Quest gets old if you watch it too many times (it hurt to write that).
Even with investment, your stuff will eventually break. No matter how hard you work at it or how many insurance policies you buy, eventually moth and rust destroy or thieves break in and steal. Toys break. Clothes wear out. Computers … well … don’t even get me started. Vast wealth can be created and lost in a day (typically takes a lot longer to lose it than to make it though). Every great city on earth is one war or natural disaster away from being a smoldering heap of rubble. And those which don’t fall to disaster, eventually succumb to the relentless wearing of time and age. Anyone over 25 knows that’s true of your body as well.
And people are worse than material things when it comes to giving out. If you don’t invest in your relationships, they grow cold and distant. Notwithstanding investment, still your colleagues, friends, even your family, will disappoint you, fail you, hurt you, even betray you. Even the people who love you the most will let you down. Sometimes it’s only in death, but eventually everything fails. Everything runs out.
But God is holy. Set apart. (Isaiah 40:25-26) Entirely different from all the stuff and all the people in this world. God is the only one who never fails, who never lets you down. God loves you and made promises to you. You can put your full weight on His love and His promises, because He is able to show you love without failure or flaw, and He is able to make good on any promise.
There are no weak planks in the bridge of God’s promises, no running out or resources, no getting distracted, no over-committing and then failing to come through, no failed good intentions, no disappointments. We rightfully fear these things with people because the evidence supports it, but if you think God has let you down, then it’s because you don’t understand what’s going on well enough to make that call. God’s arm is never too short to accomplish what He has set out to do. But remember that God hasn’t set out to make you happy or to cater to your whims. God is not a vending machine. He’s not here for you; you’re here for Him.
God has set out to choose a bride for Himself, to redeem her from the clutches of spiritual death, and to present her to Himself spotless and without stain or blemish. “Her” is the church. That’s us. Whosoever wants to be God’s child can be. Anyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved … from death, from hell, from being alone, from fear, from despair, from hopelessness, from slavery to sin, from all the horrible things that your stuff and your friends — though they may claim to have the power to do so — are powerless to overcome or resolve in your life.
But where they can’t, God’s love can. It is totally sufficient to save you from yourself and the meaninglessness of a life lived thumbing our puny noses at God. (2 Corinthians 12:9a) God is willing to adopt you into His family. (Romans 8:15-16) God is faithful to keep His Word to us — every promise, no matter how great or small. (Deuteronomy 7:9) He is ultimately powerful (Colossians 1:16-17) and perfectly loving (1 John 4:7-21), and more than able to be everything we need and more. (Ephesians 3:20-21) Pressed down. Shaken together. Running over. (See Luke 6:38 re-contextualized) God’s love is always enough to satisfy. (Psalm 90:14) It never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8a)