remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father (
God wants us to be people of faith, hope, and love. These comprise the holy trinity of Christian virtues. Those attributes were seen in the church at Thessalonica and commended by Paul.
How do you see such character qualities?
Real faith produces works, robust hope promotes endurance, and radiant love prompts labor. It is impossible to have these internal dispositions without external exhibitions! We are not talking about some mystical doctrine, but a manifest demonstration, where the invisible work of the Spirit in us becomes the tangible work of the Spirit through us.
We may think of ourselves as ordinary people—but fail to grasp that we can accomplish extraordinary things, because we have an extraordinary God! Faith taps into His almighty power. Hope rests in His assured promises. Love flows from His abiding presence. Christians who become people of faith, hope, and love can turn the world upside down!
The New Testament brings us to these themes repeatedly. How have we missed this? They are interwoven in the very fabric of Paul’s writings. He says this, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Love then stands at the pinnacle of the triangle of virtues. It is an unrivalled love for our Father and an unselfish love for our neighbor that fulfills all God’s commands. One day faith will be no longer needed, for faith will give way to sight. Some day hope will no longer be required, for hope will reach its summit. Love, however, lasts forever! Faith, hope and love, therefore, mark the people of God—and the greatest of these is love. Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (