20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 1 Peter 1:20-23
Believing in God requires belief in the resurrection. Jesus, who existed before the the foundation of the world– let that sink in–came to us for one purpose–to die for our sakes. This is considered an outlandish fantasy by many, and it would be for me too, if God hadn’t routed me through Jesus, who empowered me to “understand” and believe. From there emanates like a fountain faith and hope, i.e. living water, springs of life, etc. I don’t understand why he chose me to believe, but I do.
And just as he came the first time, I believe he will come again, this time not to save the world, but to rule it. Why? Because of faith and hope.
Now love is another matter. While it might be impossible to fathom the mechanism by which I was saved, love is manufactured by obedience to the truth, and that truth is the “living and enduring word of God.” So if I am all about “fervently” loving the brethren, as they say, there’s a good chance I’ve done the due diligence and obediently purified my soul with the truth. After all, who genuinely loves without a genuine relationship with Jesus? It’s an out-of-body experience, to take our eyes off ourselves with empathy and extend compassion and service.
And we can’t really be complete with just faith and hope. As Paul said, “If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2
One last thought–and all the above are just thoughts–as Easter approaches, it’s good and right to celebrate the Risen Savior and the power of God who raised him, but unsuspecting and unworthy souls like myself walking around with genuine faith, hope and love are pretty impressive too! Same process by the way.