Hope. Faith. Peace. Love. / by Jeffrey Waters

A few years ago I made a decorative piece for my room that has "hope," "faith," "peace," and "love" written on it.  When I made this these four words were just empty words that I thought would look good on my wall, and maybe inspire me a little bit.

Well after reading most of the New Testament, these four words have such a more deeper and stronger meaning than they did before.

1. Hope- When I think of this word now, I think of placing my hope in things eternal.  I think of 2 Corinthians 4:18- So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. I think about how so many times in the bible it mentions hope relating to God's promise of eternal life. When I think of hope I try to think of nothing else but the return of Jesus Christ one day. 

2. Faith- When I think of faith, the word trust comes to mind.  I think of trusting God in every situation.  I think of believing in His will for my life and not attempting to do things on my own. I think of Abraham's unwavering faith and how he never stopped trusting in God's promises for His life.  He knew God had the power to do what he said He would. (Romans 4:20-25)

3. Peace- When I think of peace I think of it as a result of these other two words.  Because I have that one unchanging hope in Christ and because I have faith that my life is in God's hands, I will have a sense of peace.  Peace also reminds me of Philippians 4:6-7- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  To me, this verse means that no matter the situation, if I don't fret, but instead turn to God and ask Him for help or guidance, I will have peace. With hope and trust in the Lord, comes peace of mind.

4. Love- When I used to hear the word love it meant nothing to me, simply something I said to my family or something people on TV said in lustful, romantic relationships.  As crazy it sounds, I never thought of the love of God.  I never considered that God's love is the one perfect example of love. I never thought about God giving up His only son so that I could live.  I never thought of how much Jesus must have loved me to be nailed to a cross for the sins I committed.  I never thought about that even when we were still living in our sin, God loved us anyway and He still sacrificed His son.  I never thought about that no matter what I do today or ever, God will never love me any less.  I never considered God's love as being the reason I am even alive today. Similarly, I never considered that because God loved me first I should love Him and love everyone just as He does.  I never realized that love should be my main motive and the center of my life. I never realized that, God created me to glorify, honor and most importantly love Him. He wants me to love Him all the time with everything I have. I never realized that God calls me to also love my neighbor no matter what.  He calls me to forgive and to put others before myself. I never realized that love is the most important command. After all Jesus himself said it:
Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:36-40)

Hope in things eternal. Faith in God's plan. Peace because of faith and hope. God is love. Love God. Love others.

-Maya Smith