Faith – Having a firm faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and acting on it! Our faithfulness to Christ and to others will cause us to shine as bright lights in this dark world. The opposite is a doubting, distrustful and untrustworthy spirit.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7
Thanks for joining me as I continue in my series on the Fruit of the Spirit. So far, we have covered the first three, the “inward” – within our soul, characteristics that manifest the Holy Spirit’s indwelling — Love, Joy, and Peace. And then we talked about the second three, “outward” – toward others, characteristics—Longsuffering, Gentleness, and Goodness. And now, we begin the last three, the upward – towards God, characteristics— Faith, Meekness, and Temperance.
Some say that the fruit of the Spirit called FAITH really means “faithfulness “, or being a faithful servant of the Lord in the local Church, and that may be part of it. But, as I thought about it and studied it, I realized that “faith” IS a fruit of the Spirit, a gift from the Spirit, and it’s much more than just being faithful — it’s being “faith-full”, or filled with faith in our good and great God.
FAITH is what God gives us as we have exercised our inward and outward fruits in His strength, and have discovered that God’s promises are true! HE is the One who is faithful, and so, based on His unchanging, everlasting Sovereignty and love, we can do His good and perfect will KNOWING that He will bring the right results. When we have His Love, Joy, and Peace in our souls, and then exercise them by treating others around us with Patience, Kindness, and Goodness —something amazing happens!! We see that every promise in the Bible is true, that we can abound with all spiritual blessings when we do things God’s way. The Peace, Love, and Joy keep increasing, and God gives us a stronger Faith as we exercise it, just like the muscles in our body.
Of course, He gave us the Faith to believe in Jesus in the first place — our salvation is through Faith, by His Grace:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Notice the Grace and the Faith are gifts from God, so we can’t brag on how big our faith is, only how great our Savior is!
Have you seen this acrostic?
Forsaking All I Trust Him
Now, that’s FAITH — not trusting in anything but God Himself to get us through whatever life slings at us – Forsaking self, money, possessions, health, comfort, the approval of man, or anything else, in favor of trusting God! So we need not fear anything!
God highly commends those who show faith in Him — even faith as small as a mustard seed (.) Faith that He is sovereign, and that He is good. Faith that He has a plan, and that His way is perfect, even (especially) when we don’t understand what He is doing, we can trust that He is working all things together for our good, and for His glory (Romans 8:28). When we have that kind of faith, there is no place for fear in our hearts! When we trust that He is with us all the time, that He will strengthen us and help us, we should not fear (Isaiah 41:10), rather we should be “faith-full”
The 11th chapter of the book of Hebrews (the Faith Chapter) starts out like this in the KJV:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.”
and the Amplified Bible puts it this way:
“Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. For by this [kind of] faith the men of old gained [divine] approval.”
…and then the chapter goes on to give example after example of our heroes of the Faith who pleased God by seeking His will and obeying it. They were not perfect people, they did not have perfect, stress-free, trouble-free lives —in fact many of them endured circumstances far worse than anything we will ever face—but God commends them for their Faith!! And verse 39 & 40 tell us that they “…received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us” —they didn’t have the Holy Spirit indwelling them, as we born-again Believers do, so we have some better thing—through the Lord Jesus Christ we have access to the powerful faith that the disciples tapped into and “turned the world upside down”! (Acts 17:6) (If you don’t understand what a born-again believer is, I hope you will visit my page – “Good News! A Free Gift”!)
I hope that I will draw on that kind of faith when I hit trials!
As Elisabeth Elliot, one of my favorite authors, puts it:
“Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.”
~Graced and Grateful Grammy
“Faith is not getting what we want, but accepting what God gives”