We always thank God for all of you, making mention of you constantly in our prayers. We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work produced by faith, your labor motivated by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with full assurance.(1 Thessalonians 1:2-5a CSB)
Work by faith through love
Enduring because of hope
Placed in Jesus Christ
Christ has redeemed me
From an empty way of life
With His precious blood
Through Christ I believe
My faith and hope secure in
God who cannot lie
Everyone has faith in something. Not everyone claims to be religious but they do have faith – faith in themselves, their work or family, their philosophy… Why do I exist at this moment of history? Is there meaning to life? Why am I here? What is my purpose? These are questions worth pondering rather than just accepting whatever we’ve been told.
Os Guinness, in his new book, THE QUEST, encourages us to become seekers. Look into the different philosophies and faith families. See what they really stand for and if they can adequately answer your deep questions.
What motivates your faith? How do you keep your faith strong, stable and enduring through life?
MOTIVATED BY LOVE
I believe that God, the Creator and Sustainer of life, is the only One deserving of my faith. He alone can satisfactorily answer my deep questions and give me a reason to live. In the Bible, He shows us why we are here and how our hope in Him is secure. Because He created us, He knows best what will hurt us and what will help us.
He was motivated by love. That love was demonstrated when Jesus went to the cross.
Before the foundation of the world God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – decided to create mankind in His image. He knew we would rebel and need His intervention, so He made a way to give us a secure hope. It probably was not an easy decision, because it would entail His own suffering.
But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.How much more then, since we have now been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from wrath. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. And not only that, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.(Romans 5:8-11 CSB)
If God loves me that much, how can I not return His love? If I am an object of His unconditional love, how can I do less toward others? Of course, I won’t love perfectly, but God, in His mercy, enables me to love better than I could on my own.
My faith stays strong because it is motivated by love.
ENDURING FAITH BECAUSE OF HOPE
My faith is based on the truth of who God is. Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity, demonstrated this.
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding
so that we may know the true one. We are in the true one—
that is, in his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
(1John 5:20 CSB)
Enduring faith comes from a sure hope, because it is not based on me or my actions. No, it is based on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7 CSB)
When life is hard and disappointments come I can remember that my hope is in the One who created me. Nothing can separate me from His love or take me out of His hands, not even death. Because my hope is grounded in the truth, I can stand firm when my faith is threatened. The peace I have in Christ has helped me through many hard times.
My faith endures, because God is faithful and will not leave me alone.
WOULD YOU PRAY WITH ME?
Thank You for choosing me, for giving me Your Holy Spirit, assuring me of Your salvation. Thank You for faith, which produces work, for love, which motivates my labor, and for hope in Jesus Christ, which enables me to endure as I labor and love for You. Amen.
*My #oneword2022 is HOPE.