“But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”
Hope is good virtue but short lived. When you face disappointment or fail to meet a target today for example, hope is the assurance that all is not necessarily lost yet; the suggestion that that which you missed today can still be recovered tomorrow, so hope keeps you looking forward to a tomorrow that is better than your today. Without hope, there will be no excitement in life as you will give up every time something fails. However with hope, you put disappointments and failures behind you and try again with renewed vigor and expectations. But when you do finally meet the target that you hoped for, hope would have completed its job on that issue and would be of no more use. It dies. You will need to generate another hope for another issue.
Faith is great, stronger than hope; but again once it accomplishes its purpose, it dies concerning that purpose. Faith is not mere assurance of belief that some event will come to pass. That kind of assurance would be Hope. Faith is ‘knowing’ that a particular event will sure come to pass. That occurrence is guaranteed to happen because you have taken care of your own part of the work equation, and you have 100% trust that in its own time, Mother Nature will complete the equation to produce the result you desire and for which you have done your part. For example, when you plant a seed, you know for sure that it will germinate. That is faith. If you did not know for sure but had doubts as to whether it was a dead seed or if the ground was good enough to give it germination, then that would be Hope, not Faith.
A major difference between hope and faith would be that (spiritual) works precede Faith. If you had food for today but you are not sure where you food for tomorrow will come from, and then lock yourself in your room and eat your food today alone, and then go on to pray that God provides your food for tomorrow, you will be waiting for that tomorrow food in hope. It may come, it may not come. But even if it does not come, you still thank God and move your expectation to the next day and the next day and the next day. You simply keep hoping that your food for the next day will come someday. On the other hand, if you took the little food you had for today to share with another hungry person out of genuine concern for that person, then you would have done the requisite works part of faith on this particular matter and can therefore be definite that, having preceded faith with works your food for tomorrow shall come to you. All the same, after you get what you worked for, faith would have completed its work on that issue. You will need another faith for the next issue.
But love, the greatest of all, is the singular force that resolves all issues simultaneously and perpetually. Love is a spiritual force that that is eternal. As the ocean is the source of all waters and all waters will ultimately dry up without the ocean, and the sun is the source of all lights and all lights will ultimately quench without the sun, so is love the source of all principle and no principle will work where it is not practiced on the foundation of love.
Divine Love goes far beyond subjective emotions to become a state of being; At the elementary stage of love, it is some emotional reflection of concern, sympathy, empathy, pity and similar positive energies as influenced by mood and circumstances around you. At this initial stage, Love fluctuates and is very subjective. At the advance state of Love however, you proceed to maintain the aforementioned positive feeling on a perpetual basis and remain in that state constantly. Love at this stage emanates from the light inside of you as a result of deep knowledge and understanding, and therefore is no longer influenced by happenings and circumstances on the outside. You become like a pipe void of blockades, and which does not retain anything but allows free flow of nature through it. Because you have retained nothing to contaminate you but allow everything including negative energy such as anger, worry, anxiety, fear, to simply pass through you, there will be absolutely no room in your soul in this world and in the world to come for disease, poverty or sadness. You shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water….whatever you do you shall prosper. You will not need to pray for anything because your prayers are answered even before they are said. Mother Nature will be your friend and by that special privilege, all resources will be at your disposal and nothing shall be impossible for you. For you all the great promises of the holy books will be reality.