The Reading: Colossians 1:3-8
“… faith … love … hope …” (v. 3-5) RSV
Last week we spoke of the three persons of the Godhead. Today we look at the second great trio in the Bible. ‘Faith, Hope and Love’ are all inextricably linked together. Although we are looking at them in Colossians, they are more usually referred to as being in 1 Corinthians 13:13.
Faith, we are told, is how we are to live in this life. We are required to believe many things that we cannot see. This is not however a blind leap of faith but is based on outward evidence, and confirmed by an inward conviction. We are told to walk through this life by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17). It is all a matter of trusting what God has said, and then obeying it.
Unlike Faith, Hope does not change the present. Hope is not to do with the present but with the future. One day things will be better and that hope sustains us in the present. Sometimes faith and prayer do not bring the change in this life that we long for. In those cases (especially when under persecution), hope holds onto the promises of God that one day he will sort it all out.
Faith and Hope sustain us in this life, but they will not be needed in the next one. Faith will be swallowed up in sight and Hope will become a reality. However, Love will go on forever. Love is the essential ingredient of life now and hereafter. Love makes the world go round. But love comes from God, for “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
We need all three, and all three are gifts of God. If we are lacking in any, then there is only one answer: pray for it. In fact, all three dwell within you by the Holy Spirit so through prayer you will lay hold of them.
Thank you Lord for your incredible threefold gift. Forgive me when I neglect to exercise these gifts within me. Amen.
1 See what Paul says about love.
1 Corinthians 13
2 See the people of faith who still hoped for something more.
Hebrews 11 (note especially v.39)