Faith, Hope, and Love

The Theological Virtues

When Jesus returns, things will change! Prophecies will end. Speaking in strange languages will stop. Special knowledge will cease. But three things will remain forever: faith, hope, and love. And love is the most important of these three, by far!

Based on 1 Corinthians 13:8b, 13a

When we go to meet Jesus, what will we take with us? Obviously we cannot take our money or our possessions. Our accomplishments will not mean that much. And our attitudes and ambitions will be fulfilled. So, what will we have?

In his first letter to the church at Corinth, St. Paul gave us an answer. When we stand before God with Jesus, we will trust God, we will have hope in what God does for us, and we will treat each other will respect.


Jesus told his followers:

Trust me! I am in the Father and the Father is in me. If you don't believe that, then put your trust in the things I do. Listen! The person who trusts me will do things I do. He will do even greater things! Why? Because I'm returning to the Father.

Based on John 14:11-12

Faith is the quality of trust in others and a belief in the truth they tell us. With faith, we freely trust God and believe what he tells us. With faith, we will want to show others how we trust God and urge them to believe his words. With faith, we try to figure out God's will in our lives and follow his will.

Faith in God can sometimes be hard. We fight our own laziness and doubts. We face the hatred of others. But, God wants us to stand firm. If we trust in God and believe his words to us, we will persevere. God will not let us down. In fact, with God's help, we will do things that will surprise us and everyone around us!


Jesus told his followers:

If you do what I told you to do, you are my friends. I won't call you my servants, because servants don't know what their Master is doing. I call you my friends, because I let you know everything I heard from my Father. You didn't choose me. I chose you to go out and do things that will last. And my Father will give you, whatever you ask him in my name.

Based on John 15:14-16

Jesus said he is our friend and he chose us to be his friends. As his friends, he wants us to go do things that will last! No matter what happens, Jesus stands beside us, encourages us, and helps us.

That thought should give us hope. Hope is a desire for a future with God. It is a feeling that we will be perfectly happy with God in his Kingdom. Our hope is not based on our own strength, but finds its source in the power of God's Spirit. With hope in God, we are sure God will keep his promises to us. No matter what happens, hope supports us when everything looks dark. Hope promises us a better future and encourages us to do acts of love for others.


Jesus told his followers:

My friends, I am with you only a little longer. So, I give you a new command: love each other. As I loved you, so you must show love to each other. If you love each other the way I love you, everyone will know you are my followers!

Based on John 13:33a, 34-35

Love is more than warm feelings for another person. When Jesus told his followers to love each other, he commanded them to treat each other with respect and kindness. He wanted his followers to treat others the same way they would like to be treated, regardless of feelings. He wanted us to show love even to our enemies.

"Love your enemies. Show kindness to everyone who hates you. If you only love those who love you, what good is that? If you only show kindness to those who are kind to you, what have you gained? Sinners do the same thing! So, love and show kindness to your enemies."

Based on Luke 6:27b, 32a-33, 35a

This kind of love is also called "Christian charity." When we love God over everything else, and we love others as we love ourselves, we practice Christian charity. When we act in this way, we do more than just showing kindness. Christian charity shows others how God loves us. It shows others we are God's children.

Faith is trust in God and what he tells everyone. Hope is a positive desire for a future with God. Love or "Christian charity" is the act of putting God first in life and respecting others. These three virtues define our life with God here on earth. They will be with us in a life with God forever.