A few months ago, in the study on 1 & 2 Thessalonians I’d been doing, I came across this idea that’s been percolating since then.
Beth Moore argued that the only difference between surviving and thriving is faith, hope, and love (Children of the Day, p.21)
I think I agree with her.
Faith opens the door to believe that God is doing something in our circumstances, even when our circumstances feel impossibly awful. Faith believes that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. Faith believes that God is who He says He is and that He’ll do what He promises. Faith can look at the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil because God is with me. Faith sees the potential and stubbornly pursues presence.
Hope likewise knows that there’s something better, so it’s worth my energy to stick around–despite how my circumstances look. Hope looks for the best in a situation. Hope knows that it’s only a matter of time until we get to see the fruits of our suffering–if nothing else, we are guaranteed eternal peace and joy after we die. And hope does not disappoint because God doesn’t disappoint.
Love opens the door to deeper relationships–to depending on God and growing in community. Being loved by God means that we’re safe–that He’s always working in our best interest. Community allows others to bear our burdens and for us to exercise our calling and gifting in the process of bearing others’ burdens.
Faith, hope, and love–not whether our circumstances change or not–define whether we can thrive even in the most difficult circumstances.