But the greatest of these is love.
“For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (NIV)
I walk through décor stores and almost every single one of them has murals, wooden signs, or some form of art work with the insignia: Faith Hope Love. It is probably the best seller next to Live Love Laugh. And why not? Those words sound great! It makes one feel happy to think on such ways of living. God created all three of these beautiful words for us to live by, so why is it so hard at times?
There are so many things in this world that are puzzling, to the point that it causes great anxiety and distress. Mental health rates are on the rise because our brains can hardly keep up with the ever-changing political ambiguity of what is right and wrong, feeding us with promises that never fail to come up empty or short of what we expect. The media, technology, climate change, health crises, not to mention terrorist plots leave us feeling insecure at best.
When facing a crisis, the first thing a person usually does is cry out to …. God. Even the unbeliever in his/her heart longs for God. A baby will cry for it’s mother naturally when under stress. The name Jesus is spoken and breathed out of the human mouth I would guess once every second if we were to take a census around the world. Whether it is used as a curse or a form of blessing, the name of Jesus has not withered away for thousands of years… Have you ever thought about that?
When we are facing the valley of decision, we usually base our decisions on what we value. What we value is highly motivated by what we surround ourselves with. If we surround ourselves with too many things, life can become confusing, feeling as though we must figure things out for ourselves, leading to stress and depression.
This was me for many years, but when I came to God and realized that the answer was very simple … Jesus. There is nothing that we face on this earth that Jesus didn’t endure on the cross. He took on all the sin we would ever know, so that we might have life. (John 10:10) He is the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:12) He is the best counselor and friend you will ever know. (Isaiah 9:6)
Once I stopped reading self help books, and started reading God’s word, I found out who I was IN Jesus, and His promise for my life was so much better than I could ever imagine for myself. He has a beautiful plan for each of our lives. The devil’s plan is to seek us out, distract us from truth with too many options, and destroy us. (1 Peter 5:8, John 10:10) It is said that if the solution is simple, that’s usually God’s answer. There is only one way to God’s promise and it is a narrow road that only a few find.
“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14
“When the solution is simple, God is answering.” Albert Einstein
We all as human beings need a strong foundation, something that is consistent and unmovable. That foundation is the cross. I’ve seen some in décor stores that have those three words on them – Faith Hope and Love. When we have faith in God, He gives us Hope, and we Love because He First Loved us. Without the cross, we would not have Hope, or Faith. Jesus died for one thing, LOVE. Simply put – LOVE.
We are in a constant search for meaning in this life, with no end, simply because we cannot possibly know all there is to know. Now we see things imperfectly, like looking at our own reflections in the mirror. But when we finally get to be with Jesus it will all make sense with perfect clarity. We know some truths that God gives us, but it is partial and incomplete. But one day, we will know everything, just as God knows us completely. This world will fade, but three things we are assured of that will last forever is faith, hope and love. The greatest being love. For it is the single reason we are here today, our meaning, our purpose and the reason for our faith. Love. (1 Corinthians 13:12-13)
If you find yourself in a confusing situation, I encourage you to look to the author of life Himself, dig into the word of God, and pray for an answer. The way will become clear before you, and you will know a true peace that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8 (NIV)