Three biblical words have my attention right now; faith, hope and love. We see them together in 1 Corinthians 13.
1 Cor. 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Over the last several weeks I have been on a quest to bring meaning to each word and discover how they work together.
I realize that volumes can be written on each of these words. My intent is not be exhaustive on each word but rather to see how these words work together practically as I co-labor with God.
I will start with faith and work towards love. Love is the foundation and faith is the end result. Hebrews 11:6 says, “without faith it is impossible to please God.”
So let’s start with faith.
Heb. 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith is an assurance and belief that God will do what He’s promised. Faith accesses heaven and brings its reality to earth. Faith actually turns our hope into substance and looks into the heavenly realm to provide what is needed. Faith is determined and aggressive and relentless in its quest. So when hope is not present, faith has nothing to grab on to. And likewise, hope without faith is simply a wish.
Now that we have established faith let’s look at hope.
Hope is an expectation of something good anchored in a trustworthy God. Hope finds confidence in a Spirit-given promise, prophetic word, dream or however way He has specifically spoken to us. When hope attaches itself to God, faith is born.
Hope comes alive and gains strength as the love of God is poured into our hearts. The hope of a son or daughter returning to the Lord. The hope of a loved one getting healed. The hope of a successful business venture; all these are awakened as we encounter the love of God.
Psalm 33:22 May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 62:5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
Faith and hope can go nowhere until God’s love is active in our hearts through ongoing encounter with Him. Let’s have a look.
Romans 5:5 “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
Hope is born and sustained by continually encountering His love. Now I am not talking about simply knowing God loves us but rather truly experiencing His love.
Without a continual encounter with the love of God hope will begin to fade into a distant wish. When hope fades, faith dies. And when faith dies, unbelief and despair are not to far behind.
SUMMING THINGS UP
Love empowers hope, hope equips faith and faith engages heaven.
Encountering God’s love creates the possibility for hope. Hope then creates a “scent” that attracts faith. Faith then believes all things are possible and aggressively goes into the heavenly realm with assurance that God can do what He has promised.
The result is the works of God for the glory of God in the life of the believer.
Here is how it works for me. I put myself before the Lord, with thanksgiving, and allow Him to minister to my heart. No lists, just rest. Love is the result.
In my uncertainty and doubt I find the verse, the promise, the prophetic word and realize what can be as I continue to put my trust in God. Hope is strengthened.
Faith follows as I meditate on both who He is and on the promises/words He has spoken to me. I find confidence and a “believing” that leads to bold asking and declaring.
I don’t know what you’re up against but I want to encourage you to put your hope fully in God out of the richness of encountering Him. Faith will be awakened and an unshakeable confidence in God will rise within!
Are there any other ways you see faith, hope and love working together? What’s been your experience?
Love to get your thoughts and/or response to this post.