Join me as I examine three theological virtues. Theological virtues are simply character traits that God reveals in His Word in 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 BSB
12Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.
The Holy Bible, Berean Standard Bible, BSB
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God gives us three areas to focus on developing (virtues) in our lives as His followers. A virtue is a character trait that is refined and strengthened by daily practice. God working through the person of Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit moves in our lives to conform us to the image of Christ!
crosswalk–excellent explanations for each virtue
got questions-explains the concept and origin of virtues
Why Hope Might be the Harder Virtue at times
Writing concerning spiritual topics requires honesty, introspection, as well as an awareness of what others are facing in life. The entire fallen world system (Satan, fallen powers, and the sin/evil around and in our own hearts) seeks to keep us from having hope and ultimately showing that hope to others. It’s a demonic trap that seeks to ensnare and enslave us to a false reality in which we live without hope. I agree with Daniel Allender’s idea that hopelessness is the work of our enemy. Hopelessness leads us to become bitter and closed off to others and even God. How many times have you held onto a hope that wasn’t realized? We hope for good health, stable employment, a loving relationship, or even a meaningful career, but this isn’t the reality for many. Broken dreams and shattered expectations can leave us deeply broken and wounded.
To have faith requires that we believe in things beyond our sight. Faith calls us to believe that God has redeemed us and is fundamentally good. Faith leads us to trust and obey God especially when His call doesn’t seem clear or sensible to us. Faith also beckons us to step forward and accept hardships and uncertainties in life instead of taking the easy path. Faith requires dependence and decreases self-reliance!
To have hope means that we realize a greater reality than the suffering and brokenness than we’re currently enduring. Hope reminds us that God will return and restore us in due season. Hope helps us to grieve knowing that death isn’t the end. Hope proclaims that Christ overcame sin and death! Hope carries us through the dark seasons of our lives and flows outward to others who are watching us!
To love others we must receive love from God. We love others as God loves us and works in our lives. Each day, every encounter with another person is an opportunity to demonstrate grace, truth, and compassion. At times, I fail to love others because I “feel” fundamentally unloved myself. This is part of being a selfish, fallen human. Yet, God patiently and gently restores me and sets me forward! We shall all battle self-love and selfishness until we are completely perfected in Christ. 1 John is an excellent read concerning God’s love!
May God bless you as you seek to live for His honor and glory as you daily grow in faith, hope, and love!