In 1 Corinthians Paul describes different spiritual virtues; among them is faith, hope and love all of which are ways to demonstrate God’s living amongst us. He talks about these three things that will last forever, Love being the greatest and most important one of them. While we may see these verses printed on wedding invitations and other celebration cards, we must not take them for granted or as simple quotes because these are God’s words and they were meant to change us.
So why are these the things that last forever? If we think about it, faith is probably one of the first things we learn as Christians. It is having that confidence and trusting that something is true without actually seeing it or something we hope for but very unlikely to happen will actually happen. Faith is the bond we have with God, a way to get close to him and know his heart, and trust that he will always guide us. Interestingly enough, hope is part of the definition of faith.
We find a good definition of faith in Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him”.
Lets talk about hope. Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and the desire for certain thing to happen. This is very much like faith. One way to look at faith is as a belief that something is there while hope is the expectation that it is there. Needless to say, hope and faith go hand in hand, they are the fuel source that keeps us moving forward; they are what make it possible for God to do his work through us.
The value of faith and hope cannot be questioned. They are the help we need when we face difficulty, they are the courage we need to keep going and the hand that holds us so we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Love however, as Paul states, is greater than faith and hope. We’ve already established how important faith and hope are so how can love be greater. I believe that the answer is very simple. God is Love. Without love, we are nothing, without God we are nothing. Love is the ultimate proof and confirmation that God exists. God sent His son to die for us and that is the ultimate act of love towards us. Love is the virtue upon which faith and hope stand and it is the foundation for everything that is good in the world. Love has the power to restore faith and hope. This is why Faith, hope and love last forever, because one is nothing without the other.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. - 1 Corinthians 13:2