Faith. Hope. Love.
1 Corinthians 13:13,
“Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.”
Faith. You never realize how weak or strong your faith is until your peace of mind depends on it. Hope. Without it, we’d have no ambition or vision for our future. Love. We’re incomplete without it.
In this walk, I’ve learned that faith is not something that can be achieved or accomplished. It is a DAILY effort to build and feed it. I build and feed my faith by reading and applying God’s Word, staying around people of faith, and declaring what I believe. My hope truly is in God. If it wasn’t, I would crumble at every hint of bad news or heartbreak. People hurt people – externalizing their pain to your heart. People lie – in efforts to cover themselves. People disappoint – whether on purpose or by accident. People are fickle - declaring loyalty one day and disappearing the next. I even disappoint myself at times. While I am ENCOURAGED by the support of my loved ones, I am STRENGTHENED by the One who gives me life and that more abundantly. Although I don’t understand it and certainly don’t deserve it, I acknowledge God’s love for me. I can never do enough to be deemed worthy of it, but I will certainly dedicate my life to repaying Him.
In a nutshell: Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6); our hope is in Him (Psalm 39:7), and He is love (1 John 4:16). If you have these three things, you have LIFE.
It is no coincidence that in speaking of love, Paul is led by spontaneous association to mention faith and hope as well. They are already a well-known triad, three interrelated features of Christian life, more fundamental than anything you could imagine. The greatest…is love: love is operative even within the other members of the trio, so that it has a certain primacy among them. Or, if the perspective is merely temporal, love will remain even when faith has yielded to sight and hope to possession.
With this realization, I really try to go after God in hopes of retrieving some of the pieces of my heart that I recognize are still missing. I had to learn that in order to be able to accept and peacefully live in God's love I had to recognize that the very things or people in my life that may have caused my heart to be fractured, are not what I put my faith in. Instead, I had to forgive and trust that God's love will supersede every hurt place even when my hope was limited to something palpable.
I had to comprehend that God’s love is not limited to what the situation looks like and that His promise to mend all brokenness is still valid. The problem with my walk can sometimes be that I simply place natural restrictions on a supernatural God, and misplace my faith. This walk has taught me that love is not defined according human standards but by God, who is love. When someone is transformed by God’s love, only then will he or she will reflect this love to others. Faith is a prerequisite, and hope keeps us moving forward. We couldn't live our lives without faith or hope. Without faith we cannot know the God of love and without love we could know no redemption. So I encourage you to continue to push past your current situation and trust that all things, especially hope, love and faith, work together for good.