A biblical strategy for balanced healing: faith, hope and love

I have been through tremendous amounts of healing in my life and literally more than 100 000 people have come to this blog to read about healing, with almost another 100 000 coming to read about faith. In my own life I ran after Jesus Christ and thought that was faith, but while I grew in Him and He grew in me (I became stronger), I didn’t get happier or healed.

For most of my life I had a faith-only approach and I didn’t know it was out of balance. I think people tried to tell me, but I was absolutely sure “all I needed” was Jesus Christ. So I took that literally and ignored the many other things I needed – like love and community.

To make matters worse, I also misunderstood what faith was – so I really was in a difficult place… nothing seemed to work, no matter how hard I tried and tried. But over time I got the hang of it and discovered something that truly works – not only in my life, but even in the lives of non-believers. I don’t need to raise anyone’s “faith level” because I have found that the finished work of Jesus Christ is in fact… finished.

So armed with my faith, I did stuff. But still I wasn’t happy. What was going on? So I was led to discover my need for love. As I healed (thanks to my faith in His finished work), I needed more and more intimacy and contact with people. But still, somehow, even with faith and love, I found that I was having problems. I was sabotaging my own life with my thinking. So God graciously and gently (and with much longsuffering on His part!) He led me to discover hope is about the way you think.

I would frequently think “what is the most important bible verse” and I’d think this one, or that one, depending on the situation I was in. Over time God showed me that this bible verse is the most useful for healing the complete person

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Cor 13:13

Now… with my hope sorted out in my head, and with healthy love in my life, and all of it firmly planted on His unseen and completed work on the cross… I am overcoming and prospering. Woo hoo!

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. – John 10:10

I’m not saying that I have everything I want, I’m not saying I am perfect – I’m not even close. In fact I fall frequently and I fall far… but if you knew my past, you’d be proud of me and how far I have come.

So when I put it all together, faith hope and love all inter-links and they affect each other… something like this:

In one sentence, this is what I have learned: Faith brings healing and freedom. Hope changes the way you think. And love is what you DO with all this new potential.

I have some thoughts on the meanings of faith, hope and love (1 Cor 13:13) that I’d like to share with you. Each explanation is under the different words. I describe Faith, hope, love and then at the end I describe how to combine them all together and why God wants us to combine them, why we can’t just pursue faith, or just have love.

If you can clear up in your head what each words means and then combine all three, you will come into a wonderful place in your own life. But it does mean renewing your mind – to unlearn the world’s meaning behind these words and to take on and own what God teaches in scripture that these words mean.

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude] – Rom 12:2


Why is faith important? Because faith restores your life, restores your body and spirit, restores your finances. The key to these changes is believe that He did it on the cross. (I will explain this more in this post, just as I do in other posts.)

What is faith? Having faith means believing that what you have heard that Jesus Christ did, is what He has in fact done. So beliving in Jesus Christ means to believe that His completed work on the cross is done. What the bible says He did on the cross… we believe He did do it.

Key scriptures on faith:

NOT RECEIVING: For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. – Heb 4:2

SALVATION IS A FREE GIFT: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the (free) gift of God – Eph 2:8

OUR FAITH OVERCOMES: Who is it that is victorious over [that conquers] the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on that fact]? – 1 John 5:5

FAITH IN HIS UNSEEN WORK: NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. – Heb 11:1

FREE GIFT, RECEIVED BY FAITH: So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s – Rom 4:16

What can we receive? Salvation. But that’s not all… the New Testament says that we are seated with Him, where He is. It says we receive every spiritual gift and blessing. We are in His image, we become like Him. We receive that He abolished sin and anulled death and destroyed the works of the devil and destroyed the devil. The bible says so and I believe it. And so much more. I ask you… how much of this are you receiving by faith?

And remember, faith means to simply agree that it is true. So how much of what is written about the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, how much of it do you agree is true?

How do we fail to get the benefit? Remember, the one thing that stops you from receiving is if you HEAR but you don’t mix what you hear with your faith – agreement. Heb 4:2 Remember that Jesus said

But if I am casting out demons by the power of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you – Luke 11:14-20

He was saying two things:

  1. IF you believe, THEN it has happened. (If you don’t believe, then it’s not?!)
  2. Jesus Christ is the Kingdom of God, He inaugurates the Kingdom, the Kingdom has arrived

Too many people are waiting for Him to do the things He has done. It’s not faith to hope he will… that’s hope! It’s faith to agree His work is already done on the cross and receive it as a free gift.

What faith is not: It is not positive thinking – that’s what hope is. Faith is about what HAS happened on the cross, the finished work, not about what you hope will happen in your life – that’s optimism! 🙂

What now? You can start by watching my 15 videos and simply agreeing with the scriptures as they display on your screen. Tak them on. Own them. Agree with them. This is how your faith overcomes! 1 John 5:5


Why is hope important? The key scripture for hope is “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.  – Prov 23:7 ” and if you think negatively about yourself, you may decide to not get up in the morning and you may miss work and get fired. Is this God’s fault?

The way you think has a dramatic effect on your life. It’s that simple. But it’s also very very hard to change how you think, so just go slowly and remember this: “Inch by inch it’s a cinch, yard by yard it’s hard”

What is hope? Hope is like positive thinking. It’s having an expectation. It’s basically: optimism – and it can help you come out of depression: Tips to recover from depression (faith, hope, love).

Key scriptures on hope:

Hope is simply optimism. It’s having an expectation… and that optimism can cause you to “give it a go”, or “try and try again”, or “be in it to win it”… etc.

There are simply too many scriptures to list. I think the book of proverbs contains a lot of advice that can help you choose good friends, make good choices, even Paul has tons of advice for fathers and mothers and even for children.

The church – by and large – has mined this “life/hope” information wonderfully. Here are some more resources to help you learn how to think better, so you become what you think – better!

If you can change the way you think… you can change your life.

So… If I had to choose one single scripture to explain what hope is an how having hope can change your life for good, it’s this scripture:

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.  – Prov 23:7

As you think, so you are. Or… as you plan, your day will become. Or… if you don’t plan to go anywhere, you probably won’t go anywhere. Or… any other variation of this.

What goes on inside your head has a dramatic effect on your day.

What can I do to get hope? Simply start by saying to yourself: “I am loved, I am loveable, I am loving, I can do it” and saying it to yourself twice a day.

As you think, so you will be… meaning that if you can accept that someone somewhere loves you, you will believe you are loved and you will begin to behave more openly to love – because you believe you are loved. If you keep saying to yourself “I can” you will gradually begin to believe YOU CAN and you will begin to get a bit of a boost on your approach to your daily chores… because you can!

When you have seen the increase in enthusiasm in your thoughts, you will then have the encouragement to go further than this. You could find biblical truths about yourself, that you are a prince or daughter of the Most High. Things that undo the negatives in your life.

Faith brings healing and freedom. Hope changes the way you think. And love is what you DO with this freedom.

Keep doing that, because as you think in your head you will begin to believe. And remember, we’re not saying “I’m rich, I’m blessed” and hoping this is faith. That’s not faith. I’m talking about undoing the effects of abuse in your head, by speaking to yourself in kind words. That’s optimism – read to find out more about optimism.

How do we fail to get the benefit? The simplest way to ensure your thinking remains defeatest is to not change your thinking. As Edmund Burke said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

Love – the greatest of these

Why is love THE MOST important? Because the command of Jesus Christ – as He repeated it over and over – was and is to love one another. And if you keep His command, several very specific benefits will flow to you, as I wrote in this post: Jesus’ command… and the enormous promises.

I can personally confirm that this is true, and regular readers can confirm that often in the last 2 years I have said I think I have written enough about faith and I definitely think it’s time to focus on the topic of love for a while… only to get even more revelation and then have to try that in my life and then blog it here. The mere committment to love brings His life giving Spirit and He and His Father make their abode in my life.

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. – John 14:23

I can recommend a commitment to love to you, because of the increase in faith (revelation of Jesus Christ) that it will bring.

What is love? This post may have reformed your thoughts on what is hope and what is love and how each can help you, but I hope that my explanation of love will really change your view. Love, as described by the bible and by Jesus Christ is an action. It’s a verb. A doing-word. To love others is a practical thing.

Key scriptures on love:

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. – John 14:23

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. – John 15:10

This is my command: Love each other. – John 15:12

PURCHASED, PURIFIED, TO DO GOOD: Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds. – Titus 2:14

GREAT REWARD: “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.  – Luke 6:35

How do we fail to get the benefit? This is a simple one. To not receive the many benefits that He promised, simply refuse to love other people. In this way you won’t receive greater and greater faith – and it’s that faith and revelation that enables you to overcome this world.

Combine them to do good works

Dead works? Clanging bells? What’s all this? Do we have a contradiction? If faith saves us and without faith we can nothing God approves of, but love is the greatest, which should I focus on? The answer is: all three.

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. – James 2:17

How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds (love) is useless? – James 2:20

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. – 1 Cor 13:1

You see, you can have all the gifts, but to use them without love is to be a clanging bell, it’s a dead work. The reason is that this is all tied together.

  1. When people heard the salvation message, the Holy Spirit gives them hope. This hope changes how they think, perhapse replacing fatalism with excitement, perhaps replacing depression with a sense that things can change! This is how hope changes our thinking and becomes a doorway/gateway of hope.
  2. They respond to this hope and have faith that Jesus is who you said He is, that He died to release them from their sins on the cross, they have faith that He can release them and give them a better life with freedom, because of what He did on the cross – and THAT is faith! New converts understand faith the best, because they are like children. And because the person believes He HAS saved them, they ARE saved. So much more of what He did on the cross can be believed… and received, just as salvation was received in this way… all of these things are a free gift to be received by faith (Rom 4:16).
  3. They gradually/immediately experience His love and the love of the people around them and they then learn to love others – and this experience of love undoes the damage from their life.

I hope this helped. May God bless you and lead you in your journey toward who He says you are IN CHRIST JESUS!

Keep on reading

Some Christians want God to snap His fingers and heal them and they refuse to get help. Is this the right approach? Maybe take a moment to read my post: Should Christians get counselling for healing?

For further reading maybe try this post Emotional healing… what’s it like? or read some of my other posts on healing. I have written a companion post that you might benefit from reading: How to fill up the lonely hurt inside.  Get into the discussion. Share your experiences. Help someone. Receive help from someone too perhaps.


These posts might also help you:

and also try

Or try some other posts that I wrote:

These are posts about growing and forming deeper relationships that let us feel connected and warm inside:

God loves you!

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6 responses to “A biblical strategy for balanced healing: faith, hope and love

  1. Thank you for being so generous and letting me use your graphic on my blog!! I didn’t mean to swipe it without your permission. I must have found it on Google.

    Thank you for all you do to spread faith, hope, love and good news!

    Much love, Lisa

  2. Mark, i totally got what you said..i like that you break it down, i too have done some study on this triad.. i appreciate that you can tie the three together so beautifully. I also like how much you focus on how faith is in what has already been done, I particularly in my life need to be reminded of Christ finished work on the cross. The Hope part is well put in my opinion, and it makes me thing of a quote that a man without hope might as well be dead. I dont know who said it, but it really ministered to me when you put out the verse For as he thinks in his heart, so is he… for me when i am in the throws of pain, and i want to kill myself… the only thing that brings me out is meditating on Jesus and remembering the promises…this gives me hope…my thinking changes and then i am reminded of all he has already done in my life…and i am suddenly lifted out of the pit… love has always been the easy one for me. because i have had such a loveless life…the love of Christ fills me up and overflows onto everything around me…maybe because i know what it feels like to be unimportant…that no one cherishes you at all…to date the Lord is my biggest fan, with my daughter being a close second. People simply do not care beyond themselves.
    this was a great post…very well thought out, it would make a great sermon.

  3. Hey Mark,

    Interesting article!

    I appreciate your views of the interplay between Faith, Hope and Love, and your applications in Faith and Love.

    My concern is the Hope section, which doesn’t give any verses that mention the word, doesn’t show why Hope is connected to thinking, and uses a verse about a stingy man (Prov 23:7) as the only Scriptural support.

    But I was able to incorporate some of your thoughts into my sermon for tomorrow.

    Thanks again for the post.

    • Hi Brian. I hope your sermon went well. I agree, I need to add more scripture to support this view. Will do. When I get the inspiration and some time. 🙂

      God bless you!

  4. This article is awesome and I am so thankful to this! May God keep blessing you!!!!!!!!

  5. Howdy my friend!! As always, I’m delighted to read your posts.
    This is very good stuff, specially to those ‘stuck’ in a place where you feel you’re doing the right thing but you see no results. I’m sure someone also tried to tell me how this all came together, but you see if someone doesn’t show in action (love) and demonstrates, then as you’ve also explained its dead works.

    So, my friend, you always do pop in with perfect timing. As a matter of fact you and “Abiding in Christ, Amen!”seem to be used of God without a clue he is doing so. She also contacted me a few months ago. I wept. It was God’s words, not hers.

    I have been thinking about coming back for a few months now, but I would like to start over in a new place. Privacy is important to me and I wasn’t feeling so comfortable in “Daddy’s Little Girl”. I’m thinking about opening another blog with the same username? not sure, if people can still find me. Let me see what I come up with. I will definetely let you know so you can visit.

    Much love and blessings,

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