1 Corinthians 13:13. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Faith. Hope. Love. These are the three great graces of being in Christ.

Hope is our reality. We don’t just hope that something might happen; we possess a living hope – Christ’s own indestructible life. We have been and will be transformed into his likeness. We have been and will be resurrected. We are and will live forever. Our sins are and will be eternally gone. These are our new realities. These are our hope.

Faith is the expression of our hope. We place our full trust in all that is ours in Christ. We live in complete dependency upon him. Faith is not something we work hard at getting or keeping; it is the natural outflow of focusing on our hope. Faith is our new habit of the soul. Our new instinct. Our new way of life. We live by faith (Gal. 2:20).

Finally, real unconditional love, is the result of overflowing hope and faith. As I trust more and more in the hope of my union with Christ, this faith in the love of Christ for me and in me will produce love that overflows out of me.

Hope, then faith, then love.

Wesley’s true love for his bride.

But often as Christians we reverse this important order. We start our Christian life with a feeling of love and then we spend the rest of our life trying to maintain that feeling. We start out feeling so in love with Jesus and wanting nothing more than to make God happy. And so we work hard to continue feeling this way. But this sort of love is coming from our own efforts and not from God, and not from faith. Inevitably, somewhere along the way, life takes a hard turn and things get difficult. The feelings of love subside. We start to question God. “Where is God?” “Does God love me?” And we start to question ourselves. “I don’t feel in love with God anymore. Am I even really saved?”

This poor Christian never learned to live from faith in eternal hope. The hope that sees them through the hard turns and dark valleys. Their love was attachment only, not true commitment born from dependency. The love (agape) that Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians, is the real, committed, covenant love of God that sustains us in and out of trials. It is the love of the crucified Christ. The love that remains in the midst of the crosses of life.

That is why this kind of agape love is the greatest of the virtues. Because love is the guaranteed result of faith and hope. Love must begin as a received power. It has to be given to us as a hope from outside of us, and then received and trusted in by faith. Only then can our love flow from faith, and only then can our faith produce love.

As we trust that this power of God’s love is in us, that this person named Love indwells us, then his same love will flow out of us. Faith will produce love. This is why Paul can say “without love we are nothing.” Because if there is no love, then there is no faith. And if there is no faith, then there is no hope. And without hope your life is truly nothing.

“To live is Christ” is to be filled with faith, hope, and love. Hope in the eternal life of Christ. Faith that fully trusts in his eternal life. And love that flows from his life of love in you.


Is your love generated by faith or only by your feelings?

You in Christ

How can faith in your union with Christ produce this love in your life?

Christ in you

Where have you seen Christ’s love in you recently?


Playlist: Great Love.

Click Here to this playlist on Spotify!


To see today’s post from the TLIC Family blog –> Click Here

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