This three-stranded cord will not be broken, Ecclesiastes 4.12. No earthly powers can prevail against them. With them the word of the Lord will continue to grow and prevail, Acts 19.20. Whoever possesses them will be counted blessed and will stand against all foes and discouragements.
We who belong to the light put them on as we learn to look for the Lord’s coming, 1 Thessalonians 4.13-5.11. They guarantee victory.
“But since we are of the day, we must stay sober by putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet our hope for salvation” 1 Thessalonians 5.8.
Faith. Hope. Love.
In days of darkness, they sustain us. They put God’s faithfulness, promises, and love in the center of our vision. We need them now more than ever.
The challenges before God’s family seem only to grow with the passing of the “times and seasons.” Many jettison their faith for a popular religiosity. Others embrace bitterness and nurse grudges. Still others turn to earthly projects, losing sight of the hope of eternal salvation.
The saints must immerse themselves in faith, hope, and love. It is not the hour for despair. The time is not for surrender. The season calls us to the courage of zeal, to the sweetness of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Just over 10 years ago, in an issue of the Spiritual Sword whose theme was “Press On,” editor Alan Highers concluded his stirring editorial this way.
“We have fretted, worried, and experienced anxiety over the departures and defections of the weak and unruly. We must continue to oppose error and departures from the faith, but not at the cost of losing our vision and our sense of mission to the world. ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation’ (Mk. 16:15)” (Highers 2007, 2).
In the lead article of the same issue, Phil Sanders reminded the reader, “In any and every culture the thing people need most is the gospel. People still need a faith to live by, a hope to live for, and a love to live with” (Sanders 2007, 3).
The apostle Paul especially loved to join faith, hope, and love. He saw them as powerful springs from which saints draw for their life and success.
Faith believes that God can and will. Hope looks forward to God bringing justice, salvation, and the fruit of righteousness. Love builds the bridges of fellowship that transcend the material and earthly.
For these were we created. In these do we find fulfillment. With these we are invincible.
In the last day, faith will become sight, hope will receive its desire, and love will remain to diffuse the eternal kingdom with the divine goodness. Until then, let us embrace this three-stranded cord that will only unravel in eternity to leave us with the permanence of God’s love.
Highers, Alan (2007) “Let us Press On,” Spiritual Sword 38 (January 2007) 1-2.
Sanders, Phil (2007) “Faithful and Growing,” Spiritual Sword 38 (January 2007) 3-7.