I have been pondering on these three words recently. The Apostle Paul of course closed his masterpiece on love by saying that the greatest of these is love. I have at times expressed that the greatness perhaps referred to the eternal nature of love, whereas hope & faith are for this life much more than the next.
Recently though my thoughts have turned to those in my life who have made an investment of faith, hope, and love into a person, a circumstance or an outcome. In particular I have seen those for whom the outcome has not been what they had hoped for and I know that it is not that which makes us sick, it is the act of stopping hoping which causes the sickness referred to in Proverbs 13:12.
I have been observing that those who have made the greater investment of faith, hope, and love appear to experience a deep pain at times perhaps deeper than those who did not invest in the same way. In particular to believe and declare that God is Good, which he is but then to not receive the outcome which would be expected from a ‘good father’ challenges our faith and love to the core and yet He will always win that test.
The option of not fully investing our faith, hope, and love is likely it seems to result in a shallower experience, it may provide a shorter journey, on the surface the recovery and the enjoyment of the next leg of the journey may look better or more accessible but will most likely involve degrees of denial and less fruit from soul searching.
As I approach this New Year of 2019 I know it must be a year of investing faith, hope, and love.
Faith because it is faith in the only true and living God, the only answer for the impossible circumstances of life and faith because it is faith which Jesus will look for when he returns. It is not faith because of the last outcome, but faith because of the one in whom we believe and trust.
Hope because ALL the promises of God are Yes & Amen. There is a certainty to Hope, something which runs through the very core of our existence to such an extent that when it is not there it will make us sick.
Love because the love of God, knew no limits, endured pain and is the eternal and greatest currency we have. Love cannot fail, it will always bring a return on investment, perhaps not obviously in this life but always in the next, for it was love which purchased our passage into the next.
As I write I am conscious of heroes in my life. The hero who sunk every ounce of faith, hope, and love and in this life at least did not see the obvious return on investment. The ones who so painfully lost and invested everything in the goodness of God and now press in past obstacles to see as the Psalmist said ‘the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ Or of those who at the outset of an uncertain journey in earth’s terms are investing everything they have, faith, hope, and love.
Faith is what Jesus will look for in us, hope calibrates our souls to a greater reality and love never fails.
Are you facing the impossible?
Are you walking through loss?
Are you believing again for your breakthrough?
Then these three remain:
FAITH – HOPE – LOVE