Have you ever noticed in the Scripture that FAITH, HOPE and LOVE are intertwined? I was encouraged by this recently and wanted to share it with you. We can keep on working, and laboring for our Lord because of how these three elements work together in our lives.
In I Thess 1:3 (NIV) Paul says about the Thessalonians, ” We continually remember before our God and Father YOUR WORK produced BY FAITH, YOUR LABOR prompted BY LOVE, and YOUR ENDURANCE inspired BY HOPE in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Col 1:4-6, Paul also says about the Colossions that he was “thankful because we have heard of YOUR FAITH in Christ Jesus and of the LOVE you have for all the saints – the FAITH and LOVE that spring from the HOPE that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing…”
FAITH, HOPE, LOVE – tied together to produce in us GOOD WORK, labors of love, even endurance – imagine, God has it stored up in heaven for you! I laughed out loud when I read about “hope being stored up in heaven” for us. I got this picture of heading to my food pantry (store), and getting something that I need – the things that I have put there to help me keep my family healthy, whether it be cleaning supplies, or food items. This HOPE that He stores up, is for us to reach up and get as we need, just as simply as we would go to our pantry and get what we need. This HOPE “springs” up, like an artesian well, bringing FAITH and LOVE to fuel our hearts. When we have that, we will endure hardship to show love, to work in faith (even when we can’t see the outcome), believing and encouraging each other that our work in the gospel IS bearing fruit all around the world.
Are you tired? Feeling hopeless and like giving up? Are you feeling impatient, like your neighbors or loved ones are hard to love right now? Feeling like you are not making a difference? Today, reach your hands up to Christ’s heavenly STORE, and grab that HOPE from the shelves that have your name on it. Let it fill your heart, like a good cool drink, and watch it propel you into the FAITH and LOVE that YOU NEED to keep working. Molly Stern