If you study 1Corinthians 13, you can see that there are 3 things mentioned in verse 13 which are faith, hope, and charity. Though this is often referred as the “charity chapter” or even the “love chapter” of the Bible, there is more to the chapter. We can learn to have a happy, fulfilling, and God-pleasing life if we just consider the truths in this chapter. People all over the world are trying to find peace and happiness. They seek it through such avenues as sex, drugs, alcohol, and violence, but never seem to find. Happiness can be attained, but it must have some keys to unlock it.
The first key we see is the key of faith. Faith is essential for the child of God. Paul tells us in Romans 14:23, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” There are many examples in the Bible of the people of God showing exemplary faith. We have the example of Job as he was going through his trial. The scriptures tell us that through it all, he never sinned. We must learn to trust God in even what seems to be overwhelming situations. How do we have learn to trust God in these circumstances? We must recognize that He already knows the situation. Your hardship is not a surprise to the Lord. He is working on training you for further use. When dealing with overwhelming situations we must learn to reign in the responses of the flesh. We have a tendency to respond with anger, bitterness and violence. Instead we must respond with faith that it is going to be ok. The Lord is not going to fail you. If you recall the feeding of the five thousand in John 6, you will remember that the disciples had to trust Christ even though they had insufficient supplies. We can live a much happier life if we learn to just trust the Lord instead of worrying and fretting about the situation. In recalling the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, we see that there was not much to work with. The only supplies was given to the disciples by a young boy who just had 5 pieces of bread and 2 pieces of fish. But even though the supplies were insufficient, there were still twelve baskets full of leftovers. We may not have much for God to use, but God specializes in taking our little bit and making a whole lot out of it. We must have faith that God can use us in spite of ourselves. Notice also the sacrifice of the giver. The boy was not forced to give his lunch to the disciples, but he willingly gave all that he had. He could have just given the fish or just the bread. He was never told he had to give it all, but he chose to give it all and as a result, God blessed it unlike anything man could ever accomplish. We must be willing to have the faith to give all of ourselves to the Lord for His use. Don’t hold back on God.
Next we see the key of hope. We are all seeking hope these days. In a time when people are working harder for less compensation, it is harder than ever to have hope. It is hard to have hope when there are homicides of innocent children being flashed in your face by the media everyday. But we can have hope. There is hope for the child of God. What is the “blessed hope” for the christian? It’s not a hope that we are saved. It’s not a hope that we are going to Heaven. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I’m going to Heaven! So what hope is there for the child of God? Our hope is found in Titus 2 where we are told of the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. The blessed hope for the child of God is the hope that today is the day that Jesus returns to take us home! I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the hurt. I’m tired of the heartache. I’m tired of the sickness. I’m tired of the bitterness in people’s hearts. I’m tired of nobody caring about the things of God. I’m tired of being in this sin infested world. I’m longing for the day I can see Jesus face to face and worship Him in person. I’m looking forward to the day when I can wrap my arm around loved ones once again and be with those that have gone on before me. I’m ready to get to meet those great men of God in the past like D.L Moody, Billy Sunday, George Whitfield, etc. I’m ready to have a body like Christ that will never see pain. There is an old hymn which says, “There is coming a day, when no heartaches shall come. No more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye. All is peace forever more, on that happy golden shore. What a day, glorious day that will be!” Titus 2:13 tells us, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” Yes life can be dreary. Sure, life can be discouraging. Of course you want to give up at times. But instead of dwelling on the problems of today, dwell on the possibility of today. Today could very well be the day that Lord splits the eastern sky and we go home. That is the blessed hope of the child of God.
Paul gives us one more key in 1Corinthians 13:13, and that key to happiness is charity. The church at Corinth had been bragging about their gifts, but they were lacking in one important area, and that was love. Life is dreary and just plain unhappy at times, but if we take the time to see the love of God in our lives, we really have no reason to complain. God’s love is not temporary. It is an everlasting love. It never fails. Even though we fail Him and even though our love is only temporal, the love of God is truly everlasting. It is an encouraging love. Consider David in the Old Testament. At one point he said that he had to encourage himself in the Lord, but then he told us that he looked to hills and saw that his help come from the Lord. When nobody else cares, Jess cares. When nobody else loves, Jesus loves. We also need to have love for each other. I know there are times when rebuke is necessary and reproving is part of the ministry and a part of life in general, but we can still love one another with a a Godly love. If we want to be happy, then we must have the keys of faith, hope, and charity. With these three keys in our lives, an entire other world of happiness is unlocked for us!