Paul concludes his famous chapter unpacking what love is and is not in 1 Corinthians 13 with this in verse 13: “But now faith, hope and love abide (remain) these three. But the greatest of these is love.”
Few would debate every human’s need for love, many indeed debate what love is, means, looks like. Plenty of people are hopeless or it seems that our experience of hope comes in and goes out -and often may feel like out is more the norm… as opposed to largely -in-, to and for us.
While it is an important reality that often we may think there is no real or certain chronology for the human biblical authors, there are places where it does seem there may be an order to how they list various things. I personally think this is one of them.
Without faith what hope does anyone have? Without hope how is it anyone believes that love is even possible for us? We grasp air and fog and cloud as easy as we come to experience love or hope without faith.
There is one Source of all three and most of you who read my writing already know I have long been convinced that Source is no other than God in Christ by the Holy Spirit. Yes.
My own experience over most of my lifetime takes me back to my own lack of faith in anyone or anyone and further, any I had was largely destroyed by observation. Watching my parents, family and my friends relationships fall apart, listless, blown about by the winds and disasters of life on earth as well as deep, continual studies of human history left me little to “believe in”. Finally I recognized a serious stack of issues in my own life I had to recognize I myself could no longer trust nor hope in myself. Loving myself was frankly, out of the question by then. It only took me appx. 18 years.
On that basis hope was far beyond reach for me. My own life personally was a fairly ongoing train wreck -I mean relationships, bands I was in and then out of, addictions and all the rest -that is until I came to follow Jesus. The search for meaning was completely empty for me until that point in time.
Love came to town indeed!
“Greater love has no one than this, that they lay down their life for a friend.” -Jesus in John 15.13
This is exactly what Jesus did for us. The tough issue is whether we do it for Him -our ultimate Best Friend, and in time for others –even for those we don’t like…
I am convinced faith, hope and love are accessed in just this way.
May God give you and I the grace to reach up and then out regardless the cost. This is what love is. I am convinced this is the path. Fifty years later The Way has not changed but Alleluia He is still changing me!
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn