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Faith – Hope – Love

9 Feb

Faith – Hope – Love…

Hope and Faith are synonymous with each other, but does that mean they are the same?

Hope is defined as: A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen, a feeling of trust.

Faith is defined as: Complete trust or confidence in someone or something. A strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

Synonymous, but not quite the same. They both define as a trust, one a feeling of trust, the other a complete trust. For me they are so close they could be the same. Take for instance this: Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the reality of things unseen. This verse from the Book of Hebrews Chapter 11 Verse 1 probably defines the very essence of both in one sentence.

We have faith that when we flip the switch, the light will turn on, yet we don’t see the electric power flowing through the wires. Being involved in the electric field I know the electricity is there, because I felt it many times in my life. Shocking, I know. I have faith in God, even though most have never seen Him, I have been in His immediate presence. But that is me, not everyone can say that.

Life is full of twists and turns. Sometimes a curve is thrown in somewhere in the middle. I’ve talked many times about rolling with the flow and living life to the fullest. Many times I have been asked how to roll when you don’t know what is around the next bend.

This is where Faith and Hope enter the. picture. I have faith that God knows what is best for me and hope that everything I need will be provided at the time it is needed. I have never been let down. There has been times that I had to look real hard for the solution, but it has always been there right in front of me.

I have also learned that I need to listen when He is talking to me, even when I think I can see the direction I need to take. Sometimes the path I think I need to take is not the path He wishes me to take and I end up re-tracing my steps and starting again. I’m sure we all have similar stories of life that we could share.

Our lives have had many very dark times, but through faith we have found the little light at the end of the tunnel to show us the way. Isn’t it nice that there is always a light showing us a way out of the darkness?

Faith is that light and hope is the reality that it will be there to lead us home. That is the essence of Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. God is always there to guide us if we will just ask Him for direction.

I see this at night when I go out and look into the heavens. The stars give me hope and a satisfaction that God is watching over me. A long time ago I defined hope as when the darkest times come, the stars will come out.

I guess the essence of this is depending on how you define Faith and Hope in reality is how you define yourself. Are you living a life of joy and happiness, or are you constantly fighting with life, living in despair? Now, let me add Love..

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

The many times I have written about Faith and Hope yet we still seem to end up forgetting what they are. Is it because we have little faith in our Father or little hope in our future? If so what can we do about it?

Today I will add the last part, Love, and show why it is the greatest of all three.

God is love! All things are possible through Him and only Him. It is through His love we have faith and a genuine hope for things to come. I believe this to be fact and live my life accordingly. He has never let me down. Even when I fell and fractured my hip He was there to pick me up and comfort me through the pain and surgery.

1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

LOVE IS… being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of others without impatience or anger.

LOVE IS… making a daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.

LOVE IS… being more committed to unity and understanding than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.

LOVE IS… a making a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.

LOVE IS… being willing, when confronted by another, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.

LOVE IS… being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the relational problems you face, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.

LOVE IS… being willing to always ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grant forgiveness when it is requested.

LOVE IS… daily admitting to yourself, the other person, and God that you are unable to be driven by a cruciform love without God’s protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering grace.

Love is all this and much, much more. All things we do in love shows others we have God in our hearts and that we let Him be our guide in our everyday life.

So that brings me back to 1 Corinthians 13:13 …and the greatest of these is love.

By the way in case you didn’t know: 1 Corinthians 13 is called the love chapter. You should read it again and again, it will open your eyes and heart to life.

When it is the darkest, the stars will come out.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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