What’s the difference between faith, hope, and love?
The Corinthian Christians weren’t doing a very good job at loving each other. In fact, often they were quite rude and mean to each other. Many of them only cared about themselves.
Sadly, we can act that way too sometimes can’t we? There are many times throughout each day when we all forget to love others. Our sin makes us want to do what is best for ourselves rather than what is best for the people around us.
But God wants us to love. Listen to what Paul says to the Corinthians in chapter 13:
1 Corinthians 13:13. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The greatest thing we can have inside of us is love. And the greatest thing we can do is love.
But what is love? Love is putting others first. Love is doing for others. Love is sacrificing and sharing even when the other person doesn’t deserve it.
And where does love come from? It comes from God. God loves us first. All love begins with him and with Jesus.
Now did you notice that Paul lists love as the last of three things – Faith. Hope. Love.
Hope actually comes first. Hope is knowing that in the end we will be saved by God. Jesus is our hope. Because he died for us we know that we will go to heaven to be with God. That’s hope.
Faith follows hope. Because I have real hope in Jesus, I can then trust in him. I can have faith each day in my eternal hope.
And then love follows hope and faith. When I learn to trust Jesus for everything, especially eternal life (hope), then I can stop trying to be loved by everyone and I can start loving everyone instead. And that’s when we finally start to image God. That’s when we can start to truly love other people without being afraid of how others will treat us first.
Love is the greatest because love lasts forever. One day in heaven our hope and faith will be our reality. And then love will still remain. Love will still grow in our hearts. Love will never die. And we will never die. Oh what a great day that will be!
Because of Jesus God loves us and gives us an eternal hope.
With Jesus our hope and faith can lead to love for others.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Here’s a good Faith, Hope, and Love song to listen to together.
All my hope is in you. Help me to trust you and love others like you do.
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