"Faith, hope, charity"

When Paul declared, in words which have become familiar to all the Christian world, "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity," he certainly did not intend that faith and hope were thenceforth to be lost sight of. Indeed, Christian experience has shown, times without number, that without faith and hope true charity would be quite impossible of attainment. Who has not often proved this? For who has not started out to be charitable, only to find himself in the morass of doubt and discouragement because the foundation of faith and hope was lacking.

Every wise Christian Scientist, therefore, bases his desire to express charity on a sure foundation. To do this, he knows he must frequently examine the quality of his hope and faith. For without faith in and expectation of good, how could he know aught of that charity which "never faileth," which "seeketh not her own," which "thinketh no evil"? To the end of establishing his hope and faith he studies and works and prays that these Christlike qualities may unfold to him in ever fuller, freer measure. This mental process requires the humility which does not attempt to grasp the end before the beginning, but recognizes that the simple faith and hope of a child must be won before one can go forward to the spiritual understanding which has no need of such intermediate steps as these, since it has demonstrated its at-one-ment with divine Love itself.

Jesus certainly preached and taught the necessity of that childlike faith which believes before seeing; of that simple hope which asks no more than the hint of an assurance of good to rest content in joyful expectation. Jesus even promised: "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to younder place; and it shall remove;" adding the yet greater promise, "And nothing shall be impossible unto you." When he compared the needed faith to this perhaps smallest of seeds, he surely did not imply that one must have attained to a perfect understanding before such works would be possible of accomplishment. When Jesus first sent his disciples forth in the healing work, he encouraged them to such confident faith and hope that they were able to return to him declaring that the devils had been subject unto them.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

September 18, 1926

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.