Fruit of the Spirit: FAITHFULNESS

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

 By Sunshine Metschke

It was a season of deep sadness and grief. Our lives had just been turned upside down with a life-changing medical diagnosis. And as we were adjusting to the realities of our “new normal,” the verse that stuck out to me that particular day at Bible study was this:

“Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” Psalm 37:3

In this passage, God’s people are given some clear commands, such as:

  • Do not fret
  • Be not envious
  • Commit your way to the LORD
  • Delight yourself in the LORD
  • Rest in the LORD
  • Wait patiently for Him
  • Cease from anger
  • Forsake wrath
  • Depart from evil
  • Keep His way

And this passage also reminds us of the work that God is doing FOR His people:

  • He will bring forth your righteousness
  • He sustains the righteous
  • He establishes man’s steps
  • He holds the hand of the righteous
  • He offers salvation to the righteous
  • He helps and delivers the righteous

And plopped right in the beginning of all these instructions for God’s people, and the list of things that God will do, even in the midst of suffering and the prosperity of evildoers, was this:

“Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” Psalm 37:3

I didn’t know why it resonated with me at the time, but now that I’ve had some months to mull it over, I have a little clearer picture of what cultivating faithfulness looks like in this never ending season of hard things. Faith is belief, but also action. Faith is actively trusting in a faithful God.

In my life, I have seen the faces of faithfulness look like:

caring for a loved one with a mind or body-altering disease, day after day –- believing the Bible’s promises of no more sadness, pain and sickness in eternity

washing the dishes and the laundry, cooking the meal, changing the diaper, finding the shoes. Again. And again. — trusting that your people will see a sense of a loyal God in your service to them.

speaking the hard, truthful words, lovingly and with compassion – trusting that God will soften the heart of the receiver.

taking the time to heal the wounds that cause undercurrents of disturbance in your emotions – trusting that God is good and will gently and lovingly heal your wounds.

choosing gentleness over harshness – trusting that kindness brings repentance.

praying – trusting that our loving God hears and heals.

giving sacrificially, month after month – trusting that God will provide

following through on the promise made – trusting that God will continue to build the relationship

preparing the lesson, week after week, planting the seeds of truth – trusting that God’s Word will not return void

making the hard decisions – trusting that God is sovereign.

sending a note of encouragement – trusting that the words that will bless the receiver’s heart

not suppressing the grief, but allowing it space – trusting that God’s plans are good

Our situation will not change.  It may get easier, be a bit better, but it will always be a part of our story. As I “dwell in this [new-to-us] land,” I am instructed to “cultivate faithfulness,” knowing that, often, I will not be able to sustain these faithful works without the Spirit in me. His Spirit produces the fruit.

As people made in the image of God, we have an opportunity to give others glimpses of our faithful God. What are the events in your life story that have revealed His faithfulness to you? How are you revealing His faithfulness to others? How have others shown faithfulness to you? Will you allow Him to work in you to cultivate faithfulness?

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