And so faith, hope, love abide [faith--conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope--joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love--true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 amplified)
It seems as if these three characteristics are vital for all Christians to abide in.
Let's first define the word abide. In the Webster dictionary it is defined as “to accept or bear something, to stay or live somewhere or to remain or continue.”
The Greek word for abide here in 1 Corinthians is “meno”, Strong’s #3306 meaning “ to remain, in reference to a place, not to depart, to be held, kept continually.” Besides having reference to a place it can also be in reference to time, a state or condition.
So, it is important for Believers to remain in (place or time) Faith, Hope and Love daily and not to depart from them. As you read the scripture above in the Amplified version it gives a description of each characteristic as well.
Faith- conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things
Hope- joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation or expectation of good* *added my words
Love- true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us
This three corded strand is essential for us as we press into the new and bring the Kingdom of God to earth. This godly three corded strand can be used like weapons to war against what Chuck Pierce has shared about the enemy's three corded strand of Religion, Mammon and Infirmity. The Prophet Zechariah tells us in Chapter 9 verse 12 to return to our stronghold you prisoners of hope and He will give us double. In other words, repent and grab hold of your cord or rope of Hope and let The Covenant Keeping God restore double unto you for your adversity. Who doesn't love that and the ability to draw encouragement from it. It will rekindle those embers of hope that may have dwindled low as one walks through the adverse circumstances or situation in one’s life.
1 Peter 1 shows us our Living Hope, Jesus Christ, who was raised from the dead, and is our ultimate mentor or pattern for us to learn from. He is the reason for this godly three corded strand that we hold firmly to, it is our faith in not just a heavenly inheritance but one we are warring for right now in this realm. According to Romans 15:4 the Word of God, which is alive and active is a useful “tool” in maintaining our hope is patience and perseverance.
The Voice translation says it like this: “you see, everything written in the days of old recorded to give us instruction for living. We find encouragement through the Scriptures and a call to perseverance that will produce hopeful living.”
I like to read John 1:1 and where it reads “Word”, I like to use the interchangeable word, “Jesus”. It would read like this:
“In the beginning was Jesus (the Word), and Jesus (the Word) was with God, and Jesus (the Word) was God.”
The scriptures continue to go on and describe Jesus (the Word) and the Light that resides in us!
Hebrews 11 tells us that faith is the assurance of the things we hope for, the evidence of things not seen. Our Faith helps support our Hope in those things that are not presently visible in the natural. When we take our Hope and Faith and extend it up to the Lord and communicate our trust and confidence in Him, then this will bring Him great pleasure! Our Faith is linked to bringing pleasure to the Lord especially when we are walking through trying times! Who knew this better than our father, Abraham!!
The Book of Romans tells us that even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham believed what the Lord told him about being a father to many nations. I’m sure this promise seemed pretty impossible to fulfill such a call when his wife was barren! However, Abraham was willing to “look up” where his help comes from and decided to believe what the Lord said and not what his current circumstances where screaming. When the Lord gives us a promise it is like a “notch” in that rope that we can hold on to and not be moved. This example is such a great one for us to glean from because there is no way for man to produce such an outcome, but only God!
So how does Hope, Faith and Love all link together you may ask? Imagine this for a moment, as I once had it explained to me like this and it was a perfect picture to illustrate it. You look at your right hand which will represent Hope and then look at your left hand which will represent Faith. As your two hands (Hope and Faith) come together to interlock (as in the symbol of praying hands), what will uphold them?
This is where Love comes in. Love is the “arm” that undergirds our Hope and Faith.
We are familiar with the book of John and the beautiful scripture of 3:16. I will share with you the Voice version which says “For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life." In other words, God the Father, who IS love upholds our Hope and Faith.
It is the design of Our Father to be the upholding centerpiece of our very being. I love what the Nelson Bible Dictionary says about this topic: “Love is like oil to the wheels of obedience. It enables us to run the way of God’s commandments (Ps. 119:32). Without such love, we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3). Such Spirit-inspired love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8) but always flourish.” The Lord’s Love enlarges who we are, what we are to do and the path we are to walk!
Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us “if one prevails against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” As we abide in Father, Son and Holy Spirit we are able to strengthen ourselves, stand and flourish in Hope, Faith and Love as Kingdom currency.
It was pointed out to me as I read the Epistles to note on how each Apostle “carried” a message: Peter is the disciple of Hope, so Paul is the disciple of Faith and John the disciple of Love. What beautiful messages each of these disciples left for us to gain insight and encouragement from.
May your understanding of this Kingdom currency come in greater depths as you open the scriptures and allow Holy Spirit to breath on each word and expand your capacity. Allow Hope, Faith and Love to be increased through His grace as we triumphantly move forward in learning and establishing His Kingdom.
I leave you with the same scripture I started with from 1 Corinthians 13:13 but in The Voice: “But now faith, hope, and love remain; these three virtues must characterize our lives. The greatest of these is love.”
Let Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit burn brightly in you so these three virtues stand out in your sphere of influence and shift an atmosphere, a culture, region or nation! With God all things are possible!