Faith is the ability to reach out and trust. Without faith there would be no hope of improvements in life. It is through faith that we extend ourselves to others, that we act on the feelings we have for them. Faith is that which permits us to reach out and have trust in another. But some of the deepest hurts occur when our faith is another is broken. Sheila's betrayal of Janet's trust in the seciton on anger is a clear example of a breach of faith. We have faith that the bank will keep our account straight. We trust the driver next to us to control his car. We live on so many levels of faith that often we take faith for granted. We don't always measure up to what we are capable of believing. We don't because we are human. Many human characteristics such as jealousy, envy, fear and hate can take control, overpowering our faith. We can put these things aside and have faith that all will be right. This is a very hard thing to do. It requires hard work but faith is a strong engine.

A faith example


When high school senior, Stan, asked Mandy, a junior, to the prom, Mandy was ecstatic. Stan was a very popular boy who had just broken up with his girlfriend and he had chosen Mandy to go with him. When Mandy told her parents, they were not joyful. Mandy's dad, who worked in law enforcement, knew that Stan had a record of reckless driving and had a DUI charge. He realized that prom night was a night of celebration for most young people. At first they asked Mandy not to go with Stan but after many arguments and much pleading by Mandy, they decided to put more faith in the way they had raised their daughter and in her judgement in making decisions. They told her this. The night of the prom, Mandy's parents privately told her to have a good time at the prom. They also asked her to remember all of the spiritual teachings she knew and to think about her upbringing. Then they simply told her if she got into an uncomfortable situation to please call home. They would come and get her with no questions asked. Mandy agreed. She looked radiant as she left with Stan. When they got to the prom things were great at first. Then some of Stan's friends slipped liquor passed the chaperones and Stan's entire personality changed. He changed from being fun and playful to being loud and aggressive. Mandy got more and more embarrassed as the night went on. She knew that soon she would be faced with the decision as to whether she would leave the prom with Stan. When they started to leave, Stan was stumbling and not in control of his actions. Mandy quietly ask him if she could drive him home. He said "NO! very loudly, and if Mandy didn't want to ride with him, that was fine, he was ok and there was nothing wrong." He was in denial. Mandy had the answer to her question she really had known all the time. She discreetly went to a pay phone and when her dad answered, she asked her dad to come and get her. He simply replied "ok". When she got into the car with her parents, they smiled at her and started the drive home. Mandy burst into tears and told them all that had happened. They told her that they were joyful that she made the right decision to call and that she was safe. Her parents said not only had they trusted her to make the right decision, they had faith in her that she would. With this trial Mandy's faith in herself grew stronger and would allow her to better handle difficult situations in her life in the future.



Hope is very close to faith and is the ingredient which when added to faith premits us to hold on to the end. Webster defines hope as the desire and expectation, the anticipation, of good. Hope is the incentive needed to put forth the effort to accomplish our goals, our desires. Like faith, hope is a strong engine for this hard work. Hope gives us the expectation of good in return for doing what we can do. We go to work each morning knowing there is the possibility of complications during the day that can throw us off the best of plans. But we have hope that all can and will be overcome with persistence and hard work. With hope and faith we will reach the end of the day completing all we had hoped for. God gives us the specific and ultimate hope of relief from our trials, losses, and sufferings.

Love defined by Paul


From Paul's first letter to the Corinthians we learrn about love in action: Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not boast. Love is not prould. Love is not rude. Love is not self-seeking. Love is not easily angered. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil. Love rejoices with the truth. Love always protects. Love always trusts. Love always hopes. Love always perseveres. Love is the greatest of spiritual gifts and never fails.

Love discussed


As we apply love to each hour of the clock we see how essential love is. The patience permitted by love carries us through the realization of loss, bargaining, blaming, anger, sadness, acceptance, and eventually in making it possible to find a meaning in each loss. Likewise, the kindness fostered by love permits us to channel anger positively and without offending. Envy will prolong the blaming, anger, and the sadness of any loss. Love reduces the envy. Boasting about ourselves will help our bargaining and our blaming but will not bring us joy. Love makes boasting unnecessary. Love helps us to be proud of the right things in ourselves. Love permits us to consider others and avoid rudeness. When we understand the love of God we can reduce seeking for ourselves and seek good for others, trusting God to care for us. Love directs our anger. We will be angry about the right things. Love permits us to give without keeping a ledger of what is due us. Love will direct our pleasure and our delight in the truth. Love will protect us. As we learn about each other, respect each other, care more for each other, and give to each other we run the risk of getting hurt but love will protect us. Love is a stronger engine than faith and hope but the heavy train of life requires all three engines to move us along life without getting sidetracked in the small towns of hate and fear. Love leads the train in perserverance to the City of Joy. Ultimate Joy will be when we are with God in eternity.

Love example


Ben and Glenda were a couple in their early 30's who had been married over 7 years. They were career minded and had put off starting a family but now had decided it was time. Glenda went for a routine check-up to make sure it was safe to start a family. The tests showed it was not. She had a fast spreading disease that would take her life within the year. They were devastated. They had planned and saved for this family which would never be and Ben would not have Glenda for long. There were medicines she tried to keep her strength up. But she got weaker and weaker. Ben took a leave of absence from work under the Family Medical Leave Act. He so tenderly and lovingly took care of all her needs. He tried so very hard to keep her spirits up by doing little things for her. He would rub lotion on her feet, which she had always loved for him to do. He would light candles at night and play soft music, anything to make her feel relaxed and to take her mind off her sickness. They had money and could have hired someone to stay with her but Ben took care of all her needs. When she was so weak she could not feed herself, Ben patiently did so. His love and respect for her were shown with each thing he did for her. Even when there were no responses such as a smile or squeeze of the hand, Ben continued to pet and pamper her all he could. There were times when her Mom would come and stay with her to allow Ben time to run errands. Then he would break down and cry, alone. When Glenda died, Ben was so sad to lose the one he so dearly loved but also eventually found joy with his loss. They were both Christians so he knew that he would be with her again in Heaven where there would be no pain or suffering, only love for her.

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