FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE
In this life we have three lasting qualities -- faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of them is love. 1 Corinthians 13.13
Paul tells us love is the greatest of the three virtues. But why? Why is love greater than faith or hope?
In part, because love is the only permanent thing. The truth is, faith and hope both have a shelf life. They have an expiration date. Faith and hope are experiences bound to our existence on this Earth. But in the presence of God, they are rendered obsolete and unnecessary.
I mean, think about it. What is faith? Faith is a belief in things we have not yet seen. But there’s coming a day when we actually see those things. They will materialize before our very eyes. What we believed in faith will be our certainty and possession for all eternity. Faith in the presence of God is completely unneeded.
Hope is also just as temporary because once you have something – once you attain it, you don’t need to hope for it anymore. In heaven, no one will be hoping for better days. The better days will be ours each and every day. There’s no need for hope in heaven because hope merges with reality there.
This is why love is greater than faith and hope. Because faith will one day become sight and hope will merge with reality. Faith and hope are going to expire. So, what's going to be left? Love. That's why Paul says, "The greatest of these is love."
Love is forever. Love is for eternity. The point is: you and I had better learn to love because it's the only thing you will keep for all eternity. The Bible does not say God is hope or God is faith, but it does say that God is love. Love is as eternal as God is. Love lasts. It goes on forever. So, love is the number one aim of life because it's the only thing that lasts. This is ultimately why the truest barometer of what’s in our heart is determined by our capacity to love.