As part of Paul’s discourse on love, he offers this succinct verse about love’s unfailing nature. Love outlasts “prophecies,” “tongues,” and “knowledge”–quite a few things that we human tend to value. Why would these things vanish, and love stay around?
Because the type of love Paul is speaking of is not romantic love, not passionate love or even companionate love. It is God’s love–unconditional, eternal. In fact, according to 1 John 4:8, God IS love. With that, the meaning of this verse becomes clearer: God and His love are boundless and eternal, but all our human trappings (including prophecy, speech, and knowledge) are limited and not eternal.
For this reason, we can trust in God when we can trust in nothing else–because everything else will eventually fail us. Though it may seem as if God is very far away, or that He doesn’t care about us anymore, He is still here for us, still loving, still capable and willing to help when nothing and no one else can. His love never fails.