Faith, Hope, and Love
I’m going to switch gears just a little bit in the middle of our faith series because tomorrow is Valentine’s day and I want to talk about the greatest love of all. The love that God has for us.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13
As we talk about faith, we have to remember that faith is tied to hope and love. Without love, our faith will falter. It is because of love that faith can produce a harvest. Love empowers our faith when we feel uncertain. Love sustains our hope when we can’t see a way out.
Love inspired our Creator to speak the world into existence, it prompted Him to give us free will knowing how we would misuse this gift, it compelled Him to offer His Son as a sacrifice for our sins, and it is what held Christ to the cross. God is love and His love never fails. We can have absolute faith in this truth.
Some people have a hard time accepting that God loves them. The difficult and heartbreaking circumstances of their lives convince them that God is indifferent to their suffering. Some may even believe that God is punishing them for some sin. But as Job’s friends learned, bad things don’t just happen to bad people. Bad things happen to us all.
God is still good, He is still just, He is still loving. He suffers with us, He strengthens us, and He carries us through all of life’s trials. It is most important to cling to the truth of God’s love when it is hardest to see God’s love. Despite what you may feel, God is at work and He will redeem your circumstances and restore your joy.
Think of how Mary and the disciples must have felt as they witnessed Jesus dying on the cross. A mother’s heart was broken, the future looked dark for His followers, it seemed that all was lost. There was great mourning, sorrow, hopelessness, and fear. But God was not done.
Jesus would not remain in the grave. He rose victorious and He offers that victory to us all! Love drove Him to the cross so that He could redeem us to Himself. He died so He could make a way for us to join Him in eternity. That’s what love does.
I imagine that Mary and His disciples still missed Jesus even after He ascended into heaven. The joy of His resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit would have filled them with joy. But I think they still missed seeing Him at the dinner table, walking the roads with Him by their side, and speaking with His physical presence.
I say this because someone is grieving right now. Someone is missing a loved one who has gone before them into God’s presence. Know this, God is not indifferent to your grief, He knows your sorrow, and He’s there with you. Invite Him into the pain and allow Him to wrap His arms around you. Feel His love well up within you and allow yourself to release your pain into His hands. He will help you through this time of grief. He will never leave you or forsake you.
Love abides. Jesus loves you to a degree that none of us can wholly comprehend. Every ounce of love that we feel for others is an overflow of God’s love for us. Remembering the love of God should inspire us to seek Him daily so that we can become more like Him. It should teach us how to love others more freely. It’s a learning process, that’s for sure.
The imperfect love I have for my family and friends is still maturing, still growing, still changing. I pray that I continue to learn how to love like Jesus each day. I pray that you cling to God’s love when life is hard and that you revel in His love when life is filled with abundant joy.
Jesus loves you. No truer statement has ever been made. His love is eternal, steadfast, never failing. Jesus loves you. This I know. Because He tells me so.
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I want to follow Jesus! How do I get started?
“This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.
1 John 4:13-15
If you are ready to join the family of God, simply believe and ask. You can choose your own words or pray the prayer below. God hears your heart, simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and let the Spirit lead you.
“Father, I want to be yours. Forgive me of my sins. I believe that you sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and thank you for the gift of salvation through Him. I invite the Holy Spirit into my heart and surrender my life to You. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Feel free to spend time just talking to God and sharing your heart with Him. Let Him speak to you and listen as He leads you forward into new life. Welcome to the family.
Need to talk or have questions? Feel free to reach out and contact me.