“Love never ends … For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13:12-13)
Faith is necessary now because we do not see fully. God, by His grace, opens our eyes and allows us to see truth. But we do not as yet see all truth/reality. So we walk by faith. But one day “our faith shall be sight” (as the hymn puts it). Faith will give way to full and perfected sight.
Hope is necessary now because we do not see fully. God, by His grace, has given us good and sound reason for hope. His promises are true. But they are not yet fully realized. “Hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?” (Rom. 8:24). No, “we hope for what we do not see” (v.25). But one day we shall see fully and our hope will be fully realized. Hope will give way to experiential reality.
Love is necessary now. But love–unlike faith and hope–will never give way to something fuller, bigger, more permanent. We love now because we do not see fully (and thus are not able to make final judgments). We will love then because we will see fully (and understand what we do not as yet comprehend). Thank God, “Love never ends.”
Faith? Wonderful! But temporary.
Hope? Magnificent! But transient.
Love? Yes! Now. Forever. Always.
Amen and Amen — “the greatest of these is love.”
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)