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What is the difference between faith, hope, and love? Why would it matter to you? It matters because you need all three for a healthy spiritual life.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV
So, love is greater, but faith and hope are important too.
Faith and Trust Fit Together
If you have faith, then you must be trusting in Jesus Christ. To trust in Jesus Christ must mean you have a vibrant faith.
But, faith comes before hope:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.Hebrews 11:1 NIV
You could hope for something, but lack the faith (the confidence) that it will come to pass. That kind of hope is essentially worthless (it isn’t biblical hope). You can hope it doesn’t snow tomorrow, but nobody is going to promise you that it won’t snow.
If Jesus never promised us anything, there would be no need for hope. Faith would be enough.
Hope and Future Events Fit Together
Hope is the excitement around an anticipated event. When you have faith in Jesus, you’re able to trust His promises. You’ll have hope that what He says will eventually come true.
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?Romans 8:24 ESV
So, you trust a person and you hope in a promise. Through faith we have hope that carries us along to the finish line. What about love?
Love Makes Faith and Hope Possible
If Jesus wasn’t full of love, He wouldn’t have provided the way for us to trust or hope in Him (Ephesian 2:8-9).
Love is the greatest because it involves action with the greatest effort and risk. Love would sacrifice everything.
Anyone can hope. Many people believe in something. They trust and have faith. Few truly love.
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.