Faith, Hope and Love

These Three Remain

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NIV

We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV

The Apostle Paul gets right to the heart of the matter in 1 Corinthians 13, the chapter commonly referred to as the chapter on love. It’s likely that even those who aren’t followers of Jesus are familiar with this passage. After describing the word love in detail and even sharing about spiritual gifts like prophecy and tongues, he finishes off the chapter by saying that “three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love.” 

Before we go any further into this Plan, let’s define those words. 

Faith: confidence or trust in a person or thing; belief that isn’t based on proof

Hope: to want something to happen or be true

Love: to have love or affection for another person or object

After reading those, they probably resonate with you. But as followers of Jesus, we can go deeper into these words, beyond what is defined in a dictionary written by people. We can seek to really understand their meanings found in God’s Word, so that we can display them in our lives. 

In 1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV, we learn an incredible truth about faith, hope, and love. Paul said this about the believers in Thessalonica: their work was “produced by faith,” their labor was “prompted by love,” and their endurance “inspired by hope.” It was their faith that motivated them to action, their love that drove them to serve others, and their hope that helped them to endure. You see, faith, hope, and love are the catalysts to work, labor, and endurance. The things that we can’t see often produce the things that we can see. 

There will be times in our lives where our faith, hope, and love have declined, and because we don’t feel them, it often keeps us from taking action. If we want to make sure that we walk in faith, act in love, and endure in hope, we’ll need to dive into each word. Let’s aim to understand what faith, hope, and love each mean, and how we can—and should—exercise these traits in the world we live in.

It’s one thing to know what faith, hope, and love are, and an entirely different thing to express them. We have to take what we know and actually begin to live it out. As we learn and apply these truths, we’ll become a better version of ourselves and the person God is calling us to be. And we’ll see our little slice of the world change as well.

Leave a Reply