FAITH HOPE AND LOVE 2
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
What is faith?
The Bible says “….without faith it is impossible to please God…….”
The dictionary defines it as confidence or trust in a person or thing; belief that is not based on proof; belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion.
I’d define it as a strong belief, a conviction, something that is certain in our hearts and minds and cannot be shaken.
Faith tends to be futuristic in nature but draws its strength from past experiences. Faith gives us principles by which we can live our lives; we hold strongly and dearly to something or someone and as a result pattern our lives according to the dictates of those beliefs. Faith needs to be fed in order to grow and this is the dicey bit, because your faith and by implication ‘you’ will become whatever you feed your soul and mind on and it can work negatively as well as positively.
This week in the UK a fifteen year old boy was sentenced to a minimum of 16 years in jail for killing his mother. He battered her to death with a hammer and then burnt her body in a bid to hide the evidence. How on earth did he learn to do that? By consistently watching violent TV dramas and violent films, and playing violent video games. He filled his mind with violence until he believed in violence, he made violence a part of who he was and then he went ahead and enacted it, terrible you’d probably say, so would I.
Faith comes by hearing…..What are we hearing, seeing and feeding our minds on?
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations…” (Rom 4: 18)
The dictionary says hope is: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.
Hope is that which gives us strength for today, tomorrow and the day after. Without hope we become walking cadavers, dejected, sorrowful and miserable with nothing to live for and that is when the devil can begin to plant stupid ideas in our heads. Hope is that which tells us that there will be light at the end of the tunnel, that no matter how bad the situation is it will one day pass, that tomorrow the sun will rise because the Son of righteous has already risen with healing in His wings! Hope gives us a positive outlook to life, it make us optimists always believing the best of people, situations and circumstances.
” And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Roman 5:5 (NIV)
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10 (NIV)
God is love. That is who He is, the embodiment of love and all true love flows from Him. Jesus the second member of the Godhead came to demonstrate God’s love here on earth. He took off His glory and left it with His Father and came to the world as a child, given to the world as a Son. He came to take upon Himself the sins of a dying and incorrigible world. Why? Because of His eternal and unconditional love for us. A love that doesn’t judge, doesn’t discriminate, doesn’t look down on us and doesn’t scorn us. A love that always smiles, always lends a helping hand, always forgives always embraces and always has a kind word. A love that in our darkest hours carries us, a love that feeds and nurtures us, a love that will never ever abandon us. That love took Jesus to the cross, He was wounded, beaten and bruised for us, in love He took the weight of our sins upon Himself and suffered being estranged from His Father, who unable to behold sin, turned His face. Is there greater love than this that a man should lay down His life for His friends and suffer intense and indescribable agony in the process?
God in His infinite mercy and kindness did not leave His Son in hades; He reached down into the innermost parts of the earth and took back His Son and our Saviour from the clutches of sin and darkness. He resurrected Jesus from the dead making Him the first born among many brethren and giving Him a name that is above every other name, for at the name of Jesus every knee will indeed bow and every tongue will indeed confess that Jesus is Lord! That is love, the love that a Father had for a dying world, the love that a Son had for a people wandering in darkness and blighted by sin.
That dearly beloved is the story of Easter, the greatest love story of all time, a Father giving His Son for the redemption of mankind. May we respond positively to this unprecedented and unparalleled demonstration of love, may we accept God’s gift of His Son.
Lots of love LolaA