“Three things will last forever- faith, hope and love- and the greatest of these is love”
– 1 Corinthians 13:13, New Living Translation.
Do you recognize the unique significance of faith, hope and Love in the life of a Christian? Like breathing is to living; so are these everlasting virtues to the Christian life. Everything in the Christian tradition revolve around these.
At new birth, God freely gives these three virtues to the believer as a vehicle for his/her victorious Christian walk on earth. These ever abiding virtues must be exercised for the believer to inherit his/her dignified place in the kingdom of God. God speaking said, “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him”- Hebrews 10:38. This connotes that living by any other means apart from faith is living to your own destruction. Faith is the first step in walking with God.
However, the substance of faith cannot be well understood without the evidence of hope. It is hope that gives meaning to faith. Where there is no hope, faith has no value. Faith only delivers the substance of things Hoped for (Hebrews 11:1).
Furthermore, as powerful as the virtues of faith and hope are, they must rest on the chiefest virtue of love to be fully maximized. When love is in place, all other things fall in their rightful places. Akan maxim states: “when charity comes and passes by, nothing comes after”. This is a way of saying that charity (love) is the greatest of all.
Despite the interrelationship and contribution of these virtues to the Christian tradition, each has a monopoly of endless possibility. Apostle Paul’s first writing to the church of Thessalonians (Presumably written in AD 52) lucidly proclaimed these virtues as the Kingdom’s landmark for their election of God. He puts it this way; “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God” - 1 Thessalonians 1:3- 4, (Emphasis mine).
What last forever can also be lost forever, hence needs a critical consideration. When a person fails in exercising these everlasting virtues, he/she will become a cardinal failure in all things. The truth is: God will not do anything outside the parameters of Faith, Hope and Love. The measure of your walk with God is determined by the acquisition of what it takes to knowing Him- Faith, Hope and Love. Knowing God is not enough; it takes those who are well vested with the everlasting virtues to inherit His everlasting kingdom.
If walking with God, working for God and living for eternity is your desire, then you can't live without these everlasting virtues- Faith, Hope & Love.