13 And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces];
1 Corinthians 13:13
Having done my first 21km in shoes that were not fit for that particular distance, I attempted to do it again a few years later. This time I had shoes that were designed for the distance I was attempting. Unlike the first time, these shoes made a huge difference, in fact I beat my personal time the first time around by a few minutes.
Believe me when I say having the right apparel helps when endurance is required. In the same way shoes make can make a difference, having the right apparel in our Christian journey can make all the difference when it comes to having to endure right to the end.
As was said yesterday, in this lifetime there will be many challenges that will try and divert us off the path we began with the Lord. These challenges all carry their own unique signatures that make it seem like giving up really is an option. I would remind you today, irrespective of the challenge, not to give up for any reason as fitting as it may seem in the moment. Here is where our apparel makes a difference.
Our scripture reading gives us the exact apparel needed to endure the many challenges of life, and will be exactly what we need in any given moment. The Word of God says that these three will remain: faith, hope and love. Having these three as part of one’s journey will end up making all the difference moving forward.
You might ask how these three have the ability to carry one right up to the finish line. Allow me to point out this truth.
Faith (believing and trusting) is the ability to simply believe that everything will work out in the end. God knows what He is doing and calls for us to simply put our trust in Him. Many place more emphasis on the power of their situation, forgetting the fact that they serve an all-powerful God who will have the final say in the end. He is always at work in the background of our lives and as such will make all things work out according to His plan and purpose (Romans 8:28)
Hope is the ability to know that whatever we endure, it is only but for a moment. While our years on earth seem like an eternity, the reality is that it is extremely fleeting. Blink and you will find yourself having to look back on a number of years gone by. The situation you face has an expiry date: once you step into eternity, no situation will ever be able to cause you to stumble again.
Love is the ability to know that, irrespective of whether I stumble and fall along the way, we serve a loving (compassionate) Heavenly Father who will be right there to pick us back up, dust us off and put us right back on the path again. There is nothing that can separate us from His love and knowing this gives us the strength to endure right until the end.
These three pieces of apparel is what gives us the ability to reach the finish line, finishing stronger than what we may have started. Never forget your apparel.
Heavenly Father. When you called me to this journey, you did not do so without first fitting me with the apparel needed for the journey. For this I’m truly thankful. Help me to never forget these I pray in Jesus name. Amen.