Have you ever just felt like everything is hopeless? It’s not a fun experience. The more I think about hope, the more I realize it’s the key that keeps us going. It’s something I find to be innate in most human beings. We somehow know how to hope for something without being taught. It is something which comes naturally to us. Hope is something we are all able to do and perhaps can be considered to be involuntary at some points.
It’s like this light that allows us to keep moving forward. I would even go so far to say it is what gives equilibrium to our perspectives so we are not overwhelmed with all the bad in the world. Though, is hope static? I believe hope can be something static, but we can also actively work toward our hope. Hope then, in theory, comes with action much like how living faith has action. In fact, upon further examination the virtues of faith, hope, and love all have actions coming from them.
The book of James chapter 2 verse 14 to 26 states:
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[a]? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.”
The misconception among many is faith does not require works, and many would say having works is more like earning your faith. However, James states even the demons believe in Jesus and God, and because they believe they are not saved. They are condemned. Out of real faith works come. Perhaps it can be considered more of commitment is intertwined with faith. I believe exercising would make me healthier, but I do not do it. This can compare to faith in God. Faith in many respects can be thought of as more as trust than as word for belief. If you had faith, or trusted in God, than works would flow from that trust. It’s much like a relationship really, I would like to do thing to please my friends or boyfriend. I would make them things that are important to them like a Spider-man drawing. It’s the same with God, but in acting right. The actions that are just and righteous please him. Turning to grave evil actions, in a way, is like deciding to cheat on my boyfriend. You are doing actions that cause displeasure and pain and affects other people.
To really clarify the example let’s take a look at the virtue love or also known as Charity. Love is most often considered to be a noun and not a verb. When you love someone there is action and you do things for each other. You express love in actions. You can say you love someone, but if you don’t show it is it really love? Actions flow from what is true. In a way, love is a choice. I can choose to love someone with my actions even though the person may annoy me. It’s not their fault our personalities don’t fit together, but I can choose to love them despite that. In addition, you can choose to love someone despite their illness, actions, or bad decisions. You can choose to do these things. If love was focused only on how we felt, then it would be considered an emotional and be temporary and passing. Love is not limited to a feeling, but it a choice someone can make every day. The choice causes actions even though you may not feel love for the person in that moment.
The three big virtues faith, hope, and Love are all intertwined with actions. It’s not something many people notice, but each of them involves action. They are not just nouns, but are also verbs. Actions as Christian is something very important in your spiritual walk and this is evident by the fact the three virtues given to us by God all have action coming from them.