“We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work of faith, labor of love, and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3)
Paul laid out three elemental principles of a powerful life for the Thessalonians, and these apply to us as well.
First he says that faith works. That doesn’t mean that faith works in the sense of getting us what we want. We sometimes treat prayer in the same way when we say, “Prayer works,” and by that suggest that we should pray because it gets us where we want to go. But prayer works in that it leads us into communion with the God who is all-powerful. Faith works in the sense that when we have it we will express it through the works we do. A real faith always expresses itself through action.
Second Paul says that love labors. Real love has feet and hands. It isn’t just a warm, fuzzy, positive feeling toward someone. Real love labors – long term – to build relationships. It finds a way to express itself.
Third, hope endures. That is the nature of hope, in fact. It is enduring. It never gives up, and it never dies – not if it is real hope.
So, faith works, love labors, and hope endures.
Implementing a working faith, a laboring love, and an enduring hope all at the same time produces a synergistically powerful life. No one element by itself can do this, but all three working in tandem can produce a life that is far more effective than just one element working on its own can produce. So, if you want to experience an elementally powerful life, then act out your faith, express the love of God that is in you, and endure in the hope, the certainty that God will guide the outcomes.
Lord, Help us today employ the elements of faith, love, and hope for Your glory. Amen.