“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Faith, hope, and love are necessary in my life. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Without hope it is hard to believe God can be trusted to keep His promises. Without love I will not see beyond my own selfishness. Faith, hope, and love flourish together. Each one is essential and necessary for His greatest purpose. But one is the greater than the others, and that is love.
If I have the gift of prophecy and understand God’s higher ways—if I possess all knowledge and have a faith that can move mountains, but don’t love others, I am nothing. If I unselfishly give everything I have to the poor and in my boasting don’t love others, I gain nothing. Love is patient. It is never jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It does not get irritated, and keeps no record of when it is wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices when the truth wins. Love always perseveres and never gives up. It never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance of life.
One day prophecy—speaking in unknown languages—special knowledge—and all the gifts that impart His power will become useless. Love outlasts all of these. It endures forever! Right now what I know and understand is partial and incomplete. Prophecy can’t reveal all of His purpose. The knowledge that the spiritual gifts grant is only partial, and don’t reveal His whole picture. The day He returns to complete the whole picture is the day these partial things will have no meaning. What will remain be will my faith, hope, and love He has perfected in me.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Spiritually I am still so much a child—not grasping the whole picture He will complete when He returns. Now I only see things imperfectly—like puzzling reflections in a mirror. All that I know now is limited and incomplete, but one day I will know everything unquestionably. I will understand the depths of His love from His perspective and not my own limited one. For now I put away my childish understanding, and allow Him to perfect in me what I will one day understand in His perfect clarity. Faith, hope, and love are the things which will carry me from my partial understanding of His purpose in this world now into the completed revelation of His picture in the next. It is His love on Calvary which has sealed the promise. He is the greatest love.
© 2017 Lynn Lacher