Sunday, February 28, 2021

Faith, Hope and Love


All photos used courtesy of Unsplash

In the Bible, we read a lot about faith, hope and love. In fact, at the end of a well-known chapter about love (1 Corinthians 13), we read, “Now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”Perhaps these three have helped us to keep going all these difficult months, or maybe we feel we need them more.


Just now, for the move out of lockdown and the control of the pandemic, our faith is in the widespread vaccination programme's success. So far, it seems to be working well. The amazing work which has led to the design and availability of these vaccines has to be admired. It was all very costly, but to us, it’s free - to all who are willing to come and get their “jab” – just like how we can receive God’s gift of salvation!


And this gives us hope! As we used to know it, many aspects of life have been missing for such a long time. We have missed the simple pleasures of meeting friends and families, going where we wanted, of social gatherings, church meetings, holiday trips etc. We have been concerned about our young people with their education interrupted, and our business colleagues with their livelihoods threatened. All complicated – but we have reason to hope that it’s not for much longer.


All through, there have been remarkable pieces of evidence of love. We have seen people willingly giving their time and their skills to help others, away beyond the call of duty. It wasn’t just a job they were paid to do, but motivated in mind and heart; they could not hold back the kindness and care many people needed. Neighbours and friends, health professionals and community workers were there when we needed them. All this, I think, has brought us a lot closer to people than we were a year ago. Maybe our love and care for others have increased as well – and that must be a good thing for us all!

*  *  *  *  *

One day in a storm on the sea of Galilee, our Lord Jesus said to twelve frightened men, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8.25). What would we have answered? Have you got a good answer just now? In the storm, who and what are you trusting to get you safely home? Yes, home to heaven! I can’t trust myself. I can’t do it on my own. My faith, my trust in Jesus Christ, will take me there someday as He promised.


That is my hope! It’s not just hoping for the best, uncertain how it will all work out. My hope is sure because it depends on Him, who cannot fail. The early verses of Romans 5 put it this way: Justified by faith - we have peace with God - we rejoice in hope.


Now, what about our love? We surely should love God, but our faith and hope do not depend on our love for Him. They depend on His love for us. God showed His love so clearlyGod demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5.8). Christ showed His love so definitelyThe Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2.20).


Because He loved me and showed it, I can be saved now and know it.


My song is love unknown, my Saviour’s love to me,

Love to the loveless shown that they might lovely be,

O who am I, that for my sake

My Lord should take frail flesh and die?


Here might I stay and sing, no story so divine;

Never was love, dear King, Never was grief like Thine!

This is my Friend, in whose sweet praise.

I all my days could gladly spend.


[Samuel Crossman, 1624-83]



Used by permission of Bert Cargill, Scotland


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