FAITH HOPE AND LOVE
The smallest amount of faith begets some hope and love, so that when we increase our faith and trust in the Lord, great hope and love will follow which enlightens, delights and sanctifies the soul. When we initially believe in God faith gradually increases, and from this faith in God who is good and the Lover of man, hope and love is constantly aroused.
The realizing of what the goal of our life is and the realization of the extreme mercy and compassion of God causes our love for Him to increase even more. Faith, hope and love, these three virtues have the true God as their main objective, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Hope in God arouses thanksgiving for hope is filled with God’s promise for that which we desire most of all, which is to live a beautiful life and never die but to pass from this life to everlasting life! This is the reality of everything that Christ accomplished for our sake. For He fulfilled all of our desires and hopes.
“And we testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God enters the soul and dwells within him and he dwells in God. And we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God and God in him” (1 John 4:15-16).
Faith has a beginning and an ultimate objective or goal, which is the salvation of our souls. Jesus Christ came into the world to work for the salvation of our souls. The fruit of faith is also the salvation of our souls. We must keep our attention on our objective throughout our lives in this world for we are in a constant state of danger, which is in front and behind us, to the left and to the right, everywhere temptation are established to trap us. The evil one never gives up and is well experienced in his work/ That is why we cannot give up working toward our goal which is the salvation of our souls. Increasing our faith and dedication to the truths of God will provide a good defense. But humility is a wonderful shield which not only protects us but also brings us closer to God who will protect us.
Faith does not mean to believe and leave everything in God’s hands, but it does mean that we need to respond. If a person falls into a deep well and cries out for help, you hear his plea and rushes with a rope to rescue him. You throws the rope into the water attempting to rescue the man. The drowning man responds by grabbing the rope and holding on tightly as he is pulled up from the dangerous water to safety. God provides us with faith.
It is through faith in God, that we learn of His sending His own beloved Son and Logos into the world who was spoken of by the Prophets. His Son tells us what we must do in order to be saved and gain eternal life. We need to accept the Son in faith for He is our Lord and God and Savior. However it is not sufficient to listen to His words with faith, for we then must seek to fulfill all His commandments.
Christ taught us much about God and faith in Him and much about ourselves. He warns us severely about all His commandments to be fulfilled in faith and hope. We cannot do this if we don’t even know what His commandments are or know only a few. Holy Scripture is filled with God’s words which should be our food and drink if we claim to have faith in Him. It is not acceptable to rely on our faith alone for the Lord demands action with our words, “for faith without works is dead.” He says: ":Not everyone that says to me Lord, Lord shall enter the Kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Mat. 7:21)
We need to faithfully attend Church and the Divine Liturgy, but faithfully attending services and living and keeping all of Christ’s commandments is absolutely necessary.
Faith is the entrance into the divine beauty of God, into His compassion, mercy and love, and it brings great hope and and joy into our lives as it sets us on the correct path that leads to eternal life and glory of the kingdom of God.