1 Corinthians 13:13 says that three things remain: faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love, but how do faith and hope play into the mix? How can these remain when other things fail? And why are they so important?
Join us as we discover how these three work together, and why hope needs to be specifically added to the mix!
Faith, Hope, and Love… Why We Need ALL Three!
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”—1 Corinthians 13:13
Just as faith without works is dead, or speaking without wisdom serves as noise… not everything on its own stands true and good…
Take giving for instance. Giving to be seen, to receive praise, or whatever else we are after, well, that sort of giving holds little value. Yet, when combined with love… when love becomes the heart of the action instead of selfish or vain ambition. That makes the giving valuable! It takes it from selfishness disguised and transforms it to something that is beyond the giver… that speaks to the heart of God!
Someone who observes both types of giving may not be able to discern between them, but God can. His Spirit in us speaks to our hearts what is good and just!
But we are discussing faith, hope, and love… so why use giving with and without love as an example?
- It demonstrates the way certain things—such as actions and heart-based motives—can appear good in themselves… even can be… but in actuality are missing a key element.
- It shows how when Godly traits combine—like giving and love—they become more than the sum of their parts.
Each of the three traits given in 1 Corinthians 13:13 hold power in themselves, but it is only when they are combined that things begin to shift. That it becomes a God thing and not a man thing…
When we love, we are filled with hope and faith. This is why love is the greatest of these. Yet, faith combined with love empowers the love. Just as hope working through love can cause an explosion of empowerment even in the darkest situation!
And God-based faith, hope, and love brought together?
That is a recipe from God’s Word designed to advance His Kingdom! To move mountains! To remove despair! To bring healing to our hearts and bodies as we answer God’s call!
To set us free…
Why is Hope Important?
When considering the trio of faith, hope, and love, few of us would say that hope pulls its weight…
Love is obviously the greatest of the three according to 1 Corinthians 13:13; which, when we consider that God is love, should come as no surprise.
Faith, according to Jesus, can move mountains. Not only that, but God is the author and finisher of our faith, so we are certainly meant to cultivate this powerhouse!
But what about hope?
How does hope help God’s children?
Can you remember a time where, due to a situation or simply a thought process, hope felt distant? Where hoping that things would turn out right was nearly impossible, let alone having the faith in God’s love for it to manifest?
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”—Psalm 42:11; 43:5
From this place of near hopelessness often comes despair, worry, and fear. None of which are from God…
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”—Romans 5:5
Sadly, many of us put our hope in the world. In those things we can see, taste, smell, touch, and hear. Yet, hope in the world, or things of the world, often disappoints. What is worse, because this misplaced hope does not come from God, we are choosing a path not meant for us… one which is not straight or narrow.
But hope in God does not disappoint! God, in His infinite love, is in control, and when we place our hope IN HIM we can rest assured that whatever things may look like around us, God is working it for our good…
Proverbs 13:12 says that when hope is deferred, the heart grows sick, but when what was hoped for comes, it brings life. Restoring our hope, faith, love, joy, and a host of other things! This is the blessing of hope. This is why hope is essential…
Yet, there is more to it than that… because, as Romans 15:13 says, our God is the God of hope!
He is not only love, He is the God of hope… and He desires for us to hope. In Him specifically, but also in His goodness and His desire to see us prosper. Because He not only fulfills our hopes in Him, but goes beyond them so that He can bless us beyond all we could ask or think! (See Ephesians 3:20.)
He uses the hope in us to help us to stand, even in our darkest hours. He uses it to help others see His light and goodness. In God we have a future and a hope!
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”—Jeremiah 29:11
Hope provides a host of things necessary to our walk with God, such as joy, light, steadfastness, praise, thanksgiving, and so much more! But when our hope is combined with faith, which is the substance of things not seen (the substance of our hope—see Hebrews 11:1), and with the love that comes directly from God, it points our hope to those things which are good for us…
Suddenly that hope shines like a lighthouse in the darkness, pointing to those things we should focus on, while ignoring those things we do not need!
As we draw closer and closer to the return of our Messiah, Jesus, the world will grow darker, and because of this, the hope the world provides will never be enough. We need the hope of God; hope in Him and hope that He desires our good…
The thing about darkness we need to remember is that even a small light drives darkness away. When the light of God in us shines out, the darkness cannot stand!
The hope of God in us stands as a light, and by accepting it, we no longer walk in darkness…
“Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!”—Romans 15:13 (TPT)
Now These Three Remain…
There is a reason each of these three—faith, hope, and love—remain. Because when each not only rest in Jesus but work in unity, then we see like He sees.
We grow into the image of Him, so that when people see the light in us, they catch a glimpse of our God!
- FAITH the substance of things not seen
- HOPE that helps us stand in every season
and of course, with
- LOVE which is the Father’s heart…
we develop character befitting sons and daughters of the King of kings and Lord of lords!
“No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light.”—Luke 8:16