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The Silent Force of Faith, Hope, and Love

And now abideth faith, hope, charity [love],
these three; but the greatest of these is charity
[love] (1 Corinthians 13:13).

There are unseen forces in the world that are
vitally important in the course of human events.
These forces shape individual lives and even influence
world affairs.

Recognizing that these forces exist can be
intimidating. For some people, the idea that they
might not be in control of what happens in their
lives can actually be emotionally crippling.

As Christians, we need never feel intimidated by
anything. As the old gospel song suggests, we may
not know what tomorrow holds, but we know who
holds our tomorrows. Ultimately, God is in control
of all things to come.

We do have the power to make many
life-controlling decisions. Every individual has the
opportunity to perpetuate good or evil… to uplift
Christ or approve the works of Satan… to show
love or hate, joy or sorrow.

When faced with the fateful forces of life, we
have an arsenal of divine forces at our disposal
that can help us withstand any storm and overcome
any adversity. Faith. Hope. Love.

Too often these forces are just words to us and
we fail to fully understand the explosive power
that is ours. God, in His unchanging Word, gives
unprecedented value to these truths. They are the
key to unlimited power and spiritual wealth in
your life and mine.

The baby who fell in the well

Some time ago our attention was focused on a
tiny little child in Midland, Texas, who had fallen
into an abandoned oil well. Only 18 months old,
plucky little Jessica McClure captured the heart of
the whole nation. Students, business people,
workers, housewives, even the first lady — we all
showed our interest and concern for her plight.
People across the country prayed, sent cards and
letters, offered assistance, telephoned — whatever
they could do. And the people in the Texas
communities nearby dropped what they were doing
and went to help. They labored without being
asked… not asking for pay… around the clock
until the ordeal was over.

I was so impressed with the actions of Jessica’s
family and close friends. I’ll never forget seeing
the TV news pictures of them standing in a circle,
holding hands, praying for God’s help. The
strength of their faith was transmitted nationwide
It never wavered!

We all can have this kind of faith, which
Hebrews 11 defines as the substance of things
hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
I
believe faith is an inner stability produced by the
Holy Spirit that enables us to trust. And it is trust
that dispels doubt, fear, and uncertainty.

How wonderful to know we have a counter-force
that can work in our behalf when we’re faced with
those unseen, uncontrollable forces and circumstances
of life. The force of faith will help us trust
God for peace and victory — even in the face of
seemingly insurmountable obstacles like Jessica
McClure and her family faced.

The force of faith

The silent force of faith is indescribably
powerful. With faith, a shepherd boy takes five stones
and a slingshot and defeats Goliath, the military
champion. With faith, Moses stretches out a
wooden stick over the Red Sea and the waters roll
back to provide a path of safety for God’s people.

You may well be facing conflicts, disasters,
heartaches, and darkness as deep as a well. But as
you rely on the unseen force of faith, trust will rise
up inside you and sustain you until deliverance
comes — for the Lord will bring you through.

Most important of all, the force of faith even overcomes
the fatal curse of sin and helps us receive
Christ’s salvation and everlasting life. For by
grace are ye saved through faith
(Ephesians 2:8).

The force of hope

The second silent force you can use is hope.
What a devastating thing to feel utterly hopeless
— to believe there is no remedy for your desperate situation!

Without hope, life cannot long endure. With
hope — even the tiniest spark — we can keep
holding on, keep waiting and watching until
victory comes.

Just as faith produces trust, hope produces joy
and peace. Surely it was the hope and peace of
that precious little girl in the Texas well that
helped save her life.

Can you imagine her cries of fear and distress?
“Mommy, I’m hurt, I can’t move. It’s so dark and
I’m afraid. I’m cold. I’m hungry. Please help me!”
And she listened for a voice at the top of the well —
her mother’s. That voice so filled her with hope
and encouragement, I’m told little Jessica cried
very little. She had peace — even joy. Down in her
dark, cold trap, she could even sing!

Oh, my friend, here’s a truth that is absolutely
overwhelming. You and I can have hope in the
wells of life. Down in our prisons of darkness and
pain, we can hear a Voice from above — the voice of
our Father saying, “Fear not! Lo, I am with you
alway, even unto the end of the world

(Matthew 28:20).

There is hope! And there is joy and peace for you
today. Are you trapped by emotional needs? Hear
the voice of the Lord saying, Come unto me, all ye
that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give
you rest
(Matthew 11:28).

Are you so buried by financial and material
needs that it seems you’ll never again see the light
of day? Listen! God’s promise is sufficient for you.
My God shall supply all your need according to
his riches in glory by Christ Jesus
(Philippians 4:19).

Are you worried, troubled, depressed? Oh, hear
the voice of hope — Casting all your care upon
him; for he careth for you
(1 Peter 5:7).

I tell you, there is no hole so deep that hope
cannot reach. And no place so low that God
cannot lift you out. Use the silent force of hope
God has given you… and let joy and peace change
your world.

Remember, Jesus has experienced every
emotional temptation or physical pain that we could
ever experience. He was in all points tempted like
as we are, yet without sin
(Hebrews 4:15). Jesus
was not tempted to see if He would sin, but to
show that He could not sin, for He is God.

He understands your need. He is greater than
your need… and He cares about your need. So
you can have hope.

The force of love

The third and greatest unseen force you have at
your disposal is love. Love is so powerful — and so
misunderstood.

Faith produces trust. Hope produces joy and
peace. But love produces manifold blessings.

The newspaper headlines reporting the drama
in Midland, Texas, said: “USA Opens Its Heart to
Jessica.” Why? I believe one reason people loved
this child so much was that they saw faith in her
family and hope in her — qualities America needs
so desperately today.

And remember how their love was expressed —
in action. That’s because love, being the essence of
God’s divine nature, is not just a noun — it’s a
verb, it is action. So in loving Jessica, people
helped, worked, gave… they poured themselves
out. And they didn’t stop loving until she was
rescued and brought out of that well, alive and safe.
In a thrilling, exciting way, they started living the
Bible and producing the manifold fruits of love
described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

I know you’ve read these familiar scriptures
many times, but let’s think about them in terms
we can understand without question. The silent
force of love that God pours through us is
absolutely beautiful.

This love produces an uncomplaining spirit that
cares for others. It is not jealous, pushy, conceited,
or ill-mannered. This love does not try to advance
itself, does not pout or become hurt easily. It does
not think the worst of others, and is not happy
when someone falls into sin but is happy to hear
good things about him. Love bears all things and
helps others with their burdens. Love endures…
and refuses discouragement.

Do you have that kind of love? Oh, it’s important
to have faith. It’s important to have hope. But
God’s Word declares that the greatest force of all is love.

I urge you to examine yourself to be sure you
have the silent force of faith, hope, and love —
especially love — within. The only way to have it is
to go to the One who gives this perfect gift — Jesus Christ.

I challenge you to join Dr. Van Impe and me in
trusting, rejoicing, hoping, and loving in Christ.
Using this silent force together, we can change
ourselves… and make such an impact on our
world for Christ that it will never again be the
same.

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