Perhaps when you were growing up, you heard the expression that faith, hope, and love were the greatest three attributes in life. I really believe that is true. However, have you ever wondered why faith, hope, and love are the big three? I think I may have some insight on that subject.
Faith – The reason faith is so important is because it links us to God. Everyone has a higher power, whether they realize it or not. Sometimes it requires coming to the end of yourself before you are willing to admit that there is someone in the universe greater than yourself. It is such a simple concept: there is a God, and it isn’t you! I believe that after a person accepts that concept, they can begin the process of experiencing peace with God. It is a journey that often requires time for the process to be understood and begin to settle in.
A friend of mine who was in Vietnam once told me, “There are no atheists in a foxhole in any war.” I believe that is true. Sooner or later, you will come face to face with the issue of death and faith. I have heard of so many people on their deathbeds who suddenly realized that God really was important after all. Faith is the key that connects us to our Creator.
Hope – Hope has to do with your own personal development. Abraham Lincoln once said, “If you extinguish hope, you create desperation.” He certainly knew what he was talking about. We all need hope because it helps us to go to the next event or issue we face in life. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick. But desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12). King Solomon certainly understood the fact that we can only hope for something for so long before we eventually begin to give up and may even get sick over it. He also knew that the heart would be full of joy and happiness again once a “long-hoped-for” desire was fulfilled.
Love – Love primarily has to do with our attitude toward others. When we reach out to others with genuine care and concern for how they are feeling and what is going on in their life, we touch them in a way that causes them to feel loved and appreciated. I have often heard it said that love is the greatest experience that a person can have in this life. Psychiatrist Scott Peck, M.D., said that he spent his entire life trying to understand love, and he could only come to the conclusion that it was nature’s way of causing us to drop all of our barriers and inhibitions toward other people in order to have an emotional connection with them from our heart to theirs. When I read that, I thought, “If a psychiatrist cannot explain love, I don’t think I will ever be able to either.” It is something that we truly cannot understand, however, we can experience it.
So, in review, we see that faith, hope, and love are really the big three. Faith connects us to God, hope connects us with ourselves, and love connects us with others.
Now you know why those three qualities made it to the top of the list! If you have not experienced them in your life, maybe now would be a good time to start. They truly are what life is all about. They make life worth living.
Tip: Only 3 things really count in life!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm