Holding Fast to Faith, Hope, and Love
I don’t fully understand all that happens in life. I don’t understand why cancer is so prevalent. I don’t understand why sports figures, actors, and corporate CEOs make millions of dollars while those who seem to contribute more to society and work harder barely make enough to live on. I don’t understand hatred and violence. I could go on, but you get the point.
But one thing I do understand is that God loves me and He is real in my life. I trust someday I will understand what makes no sense to me now. The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth:
Now we see but a poor 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 13:12-13.
And so in difficult times, in a difficult world, these are the things I will hold onto.
I will hold onto faith. “The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’ He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it will obey you.’” Luke 17:5-6. With faith in Christ all things are possible. Numerous times, Jesus declared that it was a person’s faith that healed them. Faith is a powerful thing and well worth hanging onto. For it is by faith that we are saved, and that faith is a gift from God through Christ Jesus.
I will hold onto hope. “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:24-25. Hope looks towards the future and believes in something better than the present. But hope is not easy to have, and is more difficult to hold onto than faith. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4. The best way I have found to hold onto hope is to stay in God’s Word, to read and trust in the many promises God has given.
I will hold onto love. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 1 John 3:16. Jesus left His throne in Heaven to become a man, to live and die for us. We can only understand true love when we grasp what He gave up for us, a gift we did not deserve. If the God of the universe can do that for me, shouldn’t I be able to muster up the ability to love others? “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8. Because we are human, sometimes loving other humans is a challenge. Other people can be difficult and even mean. But Jesus commanded us: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:44-45.
So even though I may not understand the difficulties of this world, I will hold onto faith, hope, and love. I will hold onto the promises of God that He has given us in the Bible. And someday, I will see and understand it all.