Is love really all we need?

I listened to a podcast yesterday, and at the end it played the Beatles' song "All You Need is Love." That seems to be a popular sentiment these days. All we need to do is love everyone. Love wins in the end. Love is that all-inclusive important word. Even the Apostle Paul said, "The greatest of these is love."

But is it really all we need?

If we grew up in a family without love, it would be the one thing we crave most, without question. When we feel worthless and unloved, it also seems to be the best and even the only solution to our emotional need, our pain. And in the simplest sense, love does heal. It is the "greatest of these."

But there are two other words, two other actions, attitudes, entities that in my opinion matter just as much as love. In fact, I wonder if you can have true, lasting, eternal love without them.

They are faith. And hope.

1 Peter 1:13 says, "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." (Emphasis mine)

And 1 Peter 1:21 tells us, "Through him (Jesus) you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God." (Emphasis mine)

Hebrews tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. We have to start with believing that God exists. There is no sense in going any further without that initial faith.

And in that famous love chapter of 1 Corinthians we are given three things that remain. Three things that will still be around when all the lights go out, when there is nothing left to cling to. They are: faith, hope, and love.

They are not always linked in every verse that describes them, but they are in 1 Corinthians. And when you stop to think about it, they are also connected in the various letters the apostles wrote to struggling Christians. Right after Peter encouraged the scattered believers to put their hope fully on the grace of God, and told them the source of their faith and hope is God, he went on to remind them to have sincere love for their brothers--to love one another deeply, from the heart.

Love is not the only thing the world needs. It's a good start, but it isn't the full package.

Jesus died for love, but He did so that we might believe (faith). He did it for the "joy set before Him" (hope) so that He could give us that love relationship we all long for. The words "all we need is love" touch a chord of truth within us because we crave love, for ourselves, for our world. But we need that love on a far deeper level that involves our mind and spirit and very soul. We need the kind of love that evokes faith and brings hope.

We need faith, hope, and love that are only found in our God.