The Faith, Hope, and Love of a Christian Leader

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

– 1 Corinthians 13:13

Leadership is a topic of deep conversation, debate, and strong opinion within our culture today.  Many believe that leadership is about demanding results.  Others feel it is an art of persuasion.  Some think leadership is about power and dominance.  Still others feel that leadership is simply an expression of intellect.  And to some degree or another, there is a place for all of this within leadership – minus the dominance, that is.  A good leader does produce consistent results, has a strong gift of persuasion, knows how to yield power, and carries influential intelligence.  Leadership, however, goes a bit deeper than all this.  As believers, through the gift of scripture, we have access to what the One who personifies true leadership says about it, and thus, the Christian leader efforts to add His characteristics to their life.

There are many passages we could focus on, or dive into.  For now, I’d like to lean upon the words of the Apostle Paul found in the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13.  This famous chapter of scripture concludes with one of the more well-known verses, and in it, the Apostle Paul shares with us three major words; faith, hope, and love.  Though one would not normally attach these words to leadership, I do believe that they are foundational for those who lead within the Christian faith.

Let’s dive into each of these words individually. Continue reading “The Faith, Hope, and Love of a Christian Leader”

The In-between of Sufferings and Hope

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

– Romans 5:3-5

Jesus told us, “In this world you will have trouble”.  That being said, within the same breath He also told us that we can “take heart” because He has “overcome the world” (John 16:33).  Thus, we can take two clear points away from this impartation.  One, despite our Christian faith, we are not excluded from experiential trouble.  Two, despite this fact, we need not be dismayed.  For Jesus as overcome this world in power, and in Him we gain an eternal perspective that renders trouble a temporary nuisance.  The Apostle Paul expresses this in Romans 8:18 when he says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  “Will be,” Paul says. He points to our glorious forthcoming eternal reality.

Back to the first point, however; earthly trouble is still an experience we will endure.  Certainly, we can “take heart” in Paul’s forecasted eternal victory, but this doesn’t change our here-and-now circumstances.  Our troubles are still present, and they are difficult to deal with.  So, what must we do when they come?   Continue reading “The In-between of Sufferings and Hope”