“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13:13, NKJV)
First Corinthians thirteen has been called by many “the love chapter.” Paul in this chapter gives us a wonderful description of what love truly is. In this chapter, Paul warns us that all the outward showing of spirituality means absolutely nothing if we do not have love for one another. He concludes his discussion about love declaring that love is greater than both faith and hope.
Why? Why is love greater than faith and hope? Most of Jesus’ teachings were on the subject of faith. Hebrews 11:6 tells us “Without faith it is impossible to please God . . .” Romans 12:12 tells us in times of trouble we should be “rejoicing in hope.” Why would Paul tell us that love is greater than faith and hope?
The answer is simple, love will “outlast” both faith and hope. When all is said and done, when God calls all His children home to be with Him in heaven, we will not need faith or hope. We will see all we have been having faith in and hoping for. The one thing that will endure, even in heaven, is love. For God is love.
Let us be strong in our faith, always rejoice in hope. But never forget or neglect to show the love of God. Your faith will protect and keep you in times of trouble. Hope will sustain you and give you a reason to rejoice in times of despair. But within the love of God is forgiveness, mercy, grace, compassion and acceptance. Love is the one thing that will endure for all eternity. Now abides faith, hope and love, these three, but THE GREATEST IS LOVE.