Now faith, hope, and love abide (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Faith, hope, and love – a summary of life from following Jesus.
I’ve asked myself, “How do I grow in faith, hope, and love?” Then I consider the difficulty. If someone testifies, “I’m growing in faith, hope, and love,” do you believe them? What would be the signatory marks of this growth?
I must admit, this has been a question for me during 49 years of being a pastor.
One incident of great faith that I witnessed was a drug addict who couldn’t give up drugs but also didn’t give up on God. When he died, he didn’t blame God but did ask for His forgiveness.
Usually, testimonies of great faith means deliverance, not succumbing to drugs.
I know a woman and a man who both had spouses leave. They have decided to not re-marry and to pray for reconciliation. Does the epitome of love lead to celibacy and fervent prayer?
I’ve been with parents who lost their daughter and cursed God and with parents who also lost a daughter and turned to God. Is hope only determined in severe grief?
Faith, hope, love?
If I decide to be more loving – isn’t that selfish? If I determine to move forward in faith – am I promoting my vision? If I decide for hope in difficulty – am I ignoring the warnings of God and others?
Often, my moments and your moments – moments of great faith, hope, and love – are not planned at all. Something happens – an opportunity, a chance, or God speaks. Our decision and our response at that moment propel faith, hope, and love.
Today may be our day to grow in faith, hope, and love.
Scripture teaches us to grow in faith through generosity. I was taught to tithe by my mother with my first allowance (HHHHMMMHHM, do children still get allowances?) My wife and I have tithed our entire marriage.
Nothing helps faith more than tithing the money needed for groceries.
Paul writes that we should grieve but not as those without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). No greater despair than saying goodbye to your mother, with no hope of seeing her again. Death surprises all of us.
But the faithful study of scripture, revealing the ultimate goodness and purposes of God, prepares us for grief.
I believe that we can learn to love. I just read an article about Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages published in 1992. Written thirty years ago but it was briefly on the bestseller list in 2021!
Many have benefited in relationships by learning their love language.
Have I contradicted myself in this blog? I write that great moments of faith, hope, and love happen unexpectedly. Then I say that we can learn and prepare.
I believe the following verse. We should grow, but thankfully our faith, hope, and love do not depend on our works.
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
One of the greatest mysteries of the Bible – we work and we have free will – but it is God who works in us, both to will and to work.
Faith, hope, love!
Supernatural help is available through our faith, hope, and love.