Three times in God ’s word do we see the three words “faith, hope, and love – these three words form a tri -unity that centers our character development around God.
Faith, Hope, & Love Initiates Our Response to the Gospel
For three weeks in Thessalonica, Paul and Silas preached from the Old Testament scriptures reasoning that the Christ must suffer and rise from the dead. Some Jews, and many devout Greeks would be persuaded during this time. When wicked men formed a mob to threaten and harass these new Christians, Paul and Silas left to keep them safe (Acts 17:1 -10). First Thessalonians opens up, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes. 1:2 -3). Paul elaborates on this point in verses 9 -10 indicating their faith in God, love for God, and hope of God, made conversion possible, even in the midst of severe affliction (1st Thes. 1:6).
Faith, Hope, & Love Protect Us Throughout our Lives
Near the end of the same letter, Paul reminds the Thessalonians to be sober because Jesus will return (1 Thes. 5:1 -7). He prescribes our sobriety this way, “…let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thes. 5:8). How do we stay vigilant Christians, not slipping into a spiritual doldrum? Put on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet of salvation. Wear these constantly!
Faith, Hope & Love Endures Into Eternity
The most well -known is the capstone of Paul ’s masterful discourse on love. Miraculous workings of the Holy Spirit through the lives of Christians would cease once God ’s revealed will was complete and He no longer saw the need for them (1st Cor. 12:1 -13:12). Yet, faith, hope, and love abide. Even in Heaven, you will still trust in God (faith), desire and expect God to keep His promises (hope), and will be perfected in love for one another and for Him.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1st Cor. 13:13).