“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Love, rendered as “charity” in this verse, happens when we decide to serve others without regard to our feelings. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). What motivated God so profoundly, and what motivates us to follow His example of service? “We love him because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Here’s where faith enters the picture. We have faith that He fulfilled the many Scriptures that foretold (e.g., Isaiah 53) or anticipated (e.g., Job 19:25) Him; that the apostles told the truth about His life, words, and deeds, including creating all things in the beginning (John 1:3); and, in particular, that He loved us when He sacrificed Himself in our place. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10). Faith that these unseen (by us) events actually happened just the way Scripture reveals them anchors our love in the present.
Hope refers to a happy expectation that God’s good promises will come true one day. “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:25). For example, knowing Jesus’ promises that “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2) and “I will come again, and receive you unto myself” (v. 3) secures our future enough to erase our desire to struggle for worldly security. And that frees us to love others.
With one foot of faith in what God said about our past and the other foot in hope of God’s great and precious promises, we have a foundation for loving God and man. BT
Days of Praise Podcast is a podcast based on the Institute for Creation Research quarterly print devotional, Days of Praise. Start your day with devotional readings written by Dr. Henry Morris, Dr. Henry Morris III, Dr. John Morris, and others to strengthen and encourage you in your Christian faith.