I've interpreted this mostly to be a calling for me, in my faith journey. How I need to protect, trust, hope and persevere. But recently, thanks to the Bible Study I'm involved in (Experiencing God by Blackaby), I got a new perspective.
I'm only on week two but Blackaby pulls no punches. He is already into deep water, tough stuff, working to change the readers perspective from horizontal, away from ourselves - to vertical, all eyes on God.
In one of the daily summaries, he writes this:
I must focus my life on God's purposes, not on my own plans.Next he says,
I must seek to see from God's perspective rather than from my own distorted human outlook.Thirdly,
I must wait until God shows me what He is about to do through me.And lastly,
I will watch to see what God is doing around me and join Him.
When I read this, I thought - hmmm, that sounds a lot like those four words I just memorized.
#1 - if I focus my life on God's, rather than my own purposes - He is protecting me from going on a road to nowhere that might hurt me or others.
#2 - if I seek His perspective - I am trusting Him to provide in and redeem my situation rather than seeking my own way out.
#3 - if I wait until He shows me what He is about to do - I am hoping in Him rather than my own strength.
#4 - if I watch to see what He is doing around me - I am persevering in my faith, despite hardships.
But in the end (and Blackaby's point) it isn't about me, it's about God and what He, in Christ, is doing through His Holy Spirit. So I came up with a better way to demonstrate 1 Cor 13:7.
God = love.
Jesus = God.
Jesus = love.
Jesus always protects. Jesus always trusts. Jesus always hopes. Jesus always perseveres.
Pretty cool huh?