FAITH is a Power, HOPE is a Promise, LOVE is a Person by James Ryle

FAITH is a power.

Jesus said, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”(Matthew 17:20, NLT)

Faith is a power. It is the nitroglycerin of the Kingdom. Just a single drop, no bigger than a mustard seed (i.e., a tiny speck in the palm of a hand), can move mountains. And why is this? Because faith moves God — it is one thing He delights most to see active in our hearts. And when He finds faith at work, He is moved to do His great and extraordinary work in us and through us.

mustard seed in palm of handYes, Faith is a power. It can move mountains, stop the mouths of lions, conquer kingdoms and raise the dead. But, sometimes its power wanes, in the same manner that the tides of the sea ebb and flow. Some days our faith is strong and unflappable; but on other days it needs strengthening.

Jesus prayed for Simon Peter that his faith fail not. Sometimes Faith fails; its steps become uncertain and halting. For this reason, Faith must always have a renewable source of energy; a never failing supply of invigorating strength to bolster it when it is close to tapping out.

That one unfailing source is LOVE.

Not even Hell itself in all its unleashed hatred can rock a man or woman who is rooted and grounded in the unfailing Love of God. Though Faith may fail, and Hope falter under the relentless blows of continued misfortune — Love never fails.

Now abides Faith, Hope, and Love — and the greatest of these is Love. Now let’s take a look at Hope.

HOPE is a Promise

“And this hope is what saves us. But if we already have what we hope for, there is no need to keep on hoping.” (Romans 8:24).

hopeFaith is a power, and Hope is a promise. Why? Because Hope is always about that which is yet to come; never about what we currently possess.

It is true that Faith reaches into the future and brings into the present a borrowed power that enables us to live today in the strength of tomorrow; to posses this earth with heaven in mind; to live in the presence of the “not yet.”

But Hope differs in this regard: it knows what is promised, even though it cannot see it, and though it will never lay hold of it until the day it actually arrives — Hope nevertheless holds firm without wavering. Faith is for this world; Hope is for the next.

There will be no need for Faith in Heaven once we are there, so we should spend all that we have while we are here.

Hope is a promise that holds our hearts forward to a better day, that lifts us above the present darkness of a bad stretch and keeps us buoyant in the midst of turbulence and trouble. And our Hope will pay off huge on That Day when we step across the threshold of Time into Eternity and see what our hearts have only imagined.

But sometimes Hope flags in the face of delays; and Hope deferred can make the heart sick. Thus weakened with soul-sickness, our hearts may lose their grip on what is promised; our Hope may fade and our passion to keep a forward view can diminish in the dusk of uncertain turns.

That’s when Love steps in to lift Hope back on its feet — for Love never fails.

And Love is a Person.

LOVE is a Person

God is Love.” (1 John 4:8).

For the past few days we have examined briefly the three great Virtues — Faith, Hope, and Love. The Scripture tells us that the greatest of these three is Love. The reason is clear — Faith is a Power, Hope is a Promise, and Love is a Person.

That Person is the Lord Himself.

God is Love 01Jesus said, “He that has seen Me, has seen the Father.” Christ came to reveal to each one of us the God that nobody knew. There were the fiery gods of the pagans, demanding the sacrifice of children to appease their demands. There were the brooding gods of the Hindus, leaving man in a never-ending-circle of searching — only to worship a cow.

There were the capricious gods of the Greeks, who leave man in doubt and dismay at the unpredictable twists and turns of life. And, of course, there is the angry god of Muslims, who evidently requires that his devotees slay all infidels to prove their faith, and then kill themselves in an unholy holy act to insure themselves 70 virgins in heaven. (By the way, did anyone bother to ask the virgins how they feel about this?)

And even the Christian Faith is filled with mixed images and vain imaginations about the One True God — leaving most of us motivated out of guilt, shame, or fear — rather than faith, hope, and love.

But God is Love — and we need only look into the face of Jesus and all our confusion about God is dispelled. So, now abides faith, hope and love — and the greatest of these is Love. For faith is a power, hope is a promise, but Love is a Person.

And once this Person befriends you and walks with you day by day — your faith will soar to heights unknown, and your hope will be securely fixed like an anchor in heaven as you sail the high seas of this spinning world.


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