Faith, Hope, and Love

Faith, Hope, and Love

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;
but the greatest of these is love”
– 1 Corinthians 13:13 –

Most spiritual gifts will cease, because the purpose for which they are given will haven ended; but there are three that will remain forever:

  • Faith as an experience of hope.
  • Hope as a desire and expectation of learning and growth; there will always be more to know, investigate, and enjoy.
  • Love, however, is the greatest, since it is the one that describes God the best. Loving Him now and loving Him for eternity is and will be the science of the redeemed.

On July 2, 1816, the French frigate Meduse ran around during a fierce storm near Mauritania, with 149 people on board. There were not enough life rafts on board. Using pieces of the ship, some crew members built a raft. The storm dragged them to the open sea for almost a month. Without a set course, drifting on the improvised raft, the few castaways who managed to survive faced such a dramatic experience that all France was deeply moved when they were rescued. Théodore Géricault (1791-1824), a celebrated painter and one of the pioneer artists of the French Romantic movement, impressed by the experience of the survivors, left this extraordinary event recorded on a canvas, which is found at the Louvre Museum in Paris. It is called “The Raft of the Medusa.”

In order to paint this piece, Géricault interviewed the surviving sailors and even viewed the dead. Feeling the impact, he painted the moment before the culminating event, when the survivors saw the rescue ship. The picture shows a combination of figures whose faces and bodies capture the anguish of that moment; it is quite a metaphor for the anguish of life. It is a realistic interpretation and presents a notable thoroughness of detail.

Among the characters in the painting we can appreciate four different expressions which reveal human attitudes amid tragedy. There are lifeless bodies; others sitting with their heads between their legs, showing their complete dejection. But amid so much tragedy, there are also those who look to the horizon, where the rescue is coming from. They are seen with hope-filled faces, hopeful and strong.

Reason may err, and willpower can fail. However, faith, hope, and love never give up because they always expect the best; they are capable of witing for salvation even amid the worst storm. Hope is courage and fortitude, and gives us strenght. This type of hope is born from the hope and love of God.

Charles Spurgeon summarized it well:
“Faith goes up the stairs that love has built
and looks out the windows which hope has opened.”

May this faith, hope, and love remain forever in your life. God bless you…