The Fruit of the Spirit is…FAITH

30 Jun

“The fruit of the Spirit is…faith.” Galatians 5:22

Faith. This fruit could be viewed as the fruit from which all of the others stem for it is only by placing saving faith in Jesus that we can bear any spiritual fruit whatsoever! I have been thinking about faith for the last several days, but it wasn’t until tonight that the Lord led me to “the FAITH chapter,” Hebrews chapter 11. I am so glad He did! 🙂 This chapter has long been a favorite of mine, but I was blessed yet again by the numerous examples of faith mentioned here!

As Christians, we are living a life of faith. If we belong to Christ, we belong to Him “by grace…through faith.”(Eph. 2:8) It takes faith to believe that our God framed this world out of nothing. (vs. 3) It takes faith to forsake what makes sense (as most would see it!) for a daily following of a God whom we can’t yet see with our physical eyes. (vs. 6) Living for Christ requires faith. Verse 1 tells us that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I love the words “substance” and “evidence!” “Substance” is by definition physical material. “Evidence” is that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof. By placing our faith in God, we are given “substance” and “evidence.” Both of these things are things that though  physically untouchable give us something to “hold on to” spiritually. We can touch it. Our belief is a belief deep enough to “feel,” deep enough to cling to when there’s nothing else left.

Hebrews chapter 11 give us a small glimpse of the lives of faith that so many have lived before us.  It also gives us evidence of the countless blessings that come to those whose faith in Christ enabled them to be faithful to Him even when everything seemed to be against them. People who didn’t even have God’s Word as we have it today, yet had faith enough to believe in things unseen. We find men who were asked to forsake all to walk by faith and not by sight who sometimes wavered yet always resumed following. (2 Cor. 5:7) We learn of a woman once known for her promiscuous lifestyle that stood courageously even when it meant forsaking her own people (vs. 31). Hebrews 11 is full of examples not lacking in human frailty, but also not lacking in extraordinary faith that enabled them to do BIG things for their God. I love this chapter because it is proof that even faith like unto a grain of mustard seed can move mustardseedeven the tallest of mountains! (Matt. 17:20)

If you have ever heard me give my personal testimony, you know that I often compare the journey of the last 4 years to that of Abraham’s journey. The Lord has often used the account of Abraham to show me parallels in my own walk with Him. Tonight as I read the “Faith chapter,” I was struck by the fact that verses 8 through 19 give account of Abraham’s faith!

Abraham demonstrated his faith through obedience. “He went out, not knowing whither he went.” (vs. 8 ) He was willing to “put feet on his faith’ because he had the right focus. He was “look(ing) for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (vs. 10) His wife, Sarah, demonstrated her faith (though weak at times!) by believing that God could and would (in His time!) do the impossible. She could have faith because “she judged Him faithful who had promised.” (vs. 11) We can have live a life of faith because we are living for an ever faithful God!

The account of Abraham and Sarah is just one of the many accounts that prove the fact of blessing following faithfulness. God promised them a seed that would outnumber “the stars of the sky in multitude, and..the sand which is by the seashore innumerable.” (vs.12) Ninety year old Sarah and gray-haired Abraham saw a promise fulfilled when  little Isaac was finally delivered after years of waiting. But they received more than a son that day, they received confirmation that their God had heard every prayer and had taken notice of each and every step of faithfulness. They reaped the benefits of a faith that was present even when the fruit wasn’t.They weren’t just haphazardly trying God’s way. If that had been the case they wouldn’t have lasted. They were “persuaded” of God’s promises enough to “embrace” and “confess” them.  (vs. 13) They were certain enough to deny self and common sense in order to see what great things their God would do.

Real faith is willing to let go of the past, the common place, the normal, in order to see the promise of a much better future fulfilled! (vs. 15)

May I have enough faith to believe that my faithful Creator will forever be just that, FAITHFUL! (1 Peter 4:19) I love the fact that God never asks us to do anything that He hasn’t done or be anything that He isn’t already. He is our Supreme Example of faithfulness! Oh, that He would cultivate the fruit of faith in my heart in such a way that it is evident in my life!

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;”

Deuteronomy 7:9 

 

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