“Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the windows which hope has opened.”
— Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892)
1. Love – Firmest of Foundations
Without love all is lost, and where there is the absence of love all is vanity.
But thankfully, in the Kingdom of God love abounds, is everywhere to be seen, and is the basis of our very being.
The whole creation was intelligently designed and constructed on the firmament of love.
Love is the firmest of foundations because she is found home first in truth. Love and truth are synonymous. Love is utterly faithful, reliable, trustworthy. Love’s integrity is secure, all ways. Truth is all these things, too. And the truth is faith needs the foundation of love with which to get moving. (Hope keeps faith moving.)
Love’s opposite is fear, as is faith’s. Hate is no opposite of love, because hate is fuelled by fear. When faith ascends heaven’s stairway, she does so because she is perfectly fearless, because she is so full of love. Love has nothing whatsoever to lose, for where there’s loss there’s always thankfulness for the depth of meaning in the grief experienced.
Faith is only a dream without love; but with love, faith is able to make true a dear reality.
So, if love is a stairway, faith has safe assurance as it ascends on those sturdiest of steps; a staircase that love has hewn out of the densest stone.
2. Faith – Willingness to Climb the Way
Love may have gone before faith in building a most reliable of staircases, but faith must still do what only faith can do: climb.
Faith is movement. It takes us from paralysis to mobilisation through sheer will of belief: I can, so I shall!
Faith looks up from the bottom of that tremulous stairway, harrowing as it is to look at the journey before it, and it ponders; it commits to the way, even if it seems impossible. It trusts the integrity of the stairway, but it cannot help wilt in doubt; yet it continues to ascend, one hope-filled lunge at a time.
Nothing is so inspiring as the faith that steps intrepidly. Though love has gone before it, faith must still make its own volitional steps.
3. Hope – Enabler for Vision of the Kingdom
Hope enables vision; clear out of the window, faith envisions blue skies. With hope, faith swells, and doubts are crushed.
Hope allows faith’s vision to be brought into being through bringing to fruition the wider vistas of love’s reality. And love’s reality is the Kingdom.
Faith is underpinned by love and it is elevated by hope to a vision of the Kingdom.
Love opens the way forward for faith, but without hope faith would be inconsolably frustrated.
Faith is necessary for the spiritual way, yet it’s encumbered by crippling incapacities if it’s short on love or hope.
So — when it comes to others and to ourselves — let us allow love to flourish and hope to shine; they both sustain our faith.
Love is the foundation and hope is the enabler and the sustainer for our faith.
Overall, faith may be perfect because love is perfect. Love, being the firm foundation of faith, ensures faith has every good thing.
Love is the beginning and burgeoning of faith, and hope sees it through to the very end.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.