Charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
. . . charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Moroni 7:45-48
Part 3 – Cleave Unto Charity
It’s one thing to survive hardship. It’s quite another to pass through it while becoming more Christlike along the way.
Consider some of the verses I quoted above, only with a slight change:
Jesus Christ suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not His own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
. . . Jesus Christ never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto Jesus Christ, who is the greatest of all . . .
It seems to me that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life because of His perfect love. He was perfectly loyal to His Father, to truth, to the plan, and to His mission because He possessed the most pure and powerful motive of all: pure charity.
Now consider a verse with one more change (I’m using my name here—you can put in your own):
Joshua Aaron suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not his own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
That doesn’t even begin to describe me. I’m too impatient, too unkind, and too selfish much of the time. But I’m getting better and better the more I think about, learn about, and try to follow Jesus Christ.
The truth is that if you would become a joint heir with Christ, you will one day be perfectly described by that passage. Through Him, you will have become like Him.
Jesus Knew Tribulation
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah
Disciples of Christ Will Know Tribulation
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matthew
Tribulation Can Be an Incubator for Christlike Love
It all depends on how you respond. If you let tribulation turn you to Christ, you will become closer to Him.
I want you to pay close attention to this next part. Ponder it. Let the words run through your mind over and over.
When you consistently turn to Jesus Christ and abide with Him, you will become like Him—bit by bit and day by day. When turning to Christ is accompanied by tribulation (as it usually is), it often includes a deeper sense of humility and openess to His influence. The need within you will be met by His charity. And that charity can become a part of you. And when it is a part of you permanently, you will be like Christ.
Prepare for Tribulation
Tribulation is coming.
Every person has rough edges. In the history of the world many of the periods of greatest tribulation also had some of our most cherished heroes.
But of all the heroics there ever were, I believe that none is more acceptable to the Lord than the solitary woman or man or girl or boy who is lambasted with tribulation yet holds fast to Jesus Christ through it all. Little recognition. Little reason to endure other than because they know Jesus, love Him, and have no other motive more powerful than that love.
How have you prepared for tribulation?