As I continue my series on the fruits of the Spirit, I would like to discuss another fruit of the Spirit which is, faithfulness. Previously I have discussed joy, kindness, and gentleness. I am not going in any order, I am simply going in the order in which the Holy Spirit guides me. The listing of the fruits of the Spirit can be found in Galatians 5:22-23 which says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law.”. So, what is faithfulness? And how should we apply faithfulness to our daily lives?
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”. Notice John 3:16 does not use the word faith it uses the word believe. Looking at Ephesians 2:8-9, it says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”. Unlike John 3:16 this scripture uses the word faith. By accepting the message of salvation through Christ as true, we can be saved by grace through having our faith in the Lord. However, we cannot become saved or born again by just our works alone, many religious people will argue with that. I believe doing good works is important, by walking in the fruit of the Spirit. Having faith in someone involves trust. One of the ways we build a relationship with others is through a foundation of trust. This applies the same with faith, by having faith we trust in Christ as our savior. Therefore, by becoming saved through faith we must begin and maintain a personal relationship with Him. Titus 3:5-6 says, “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,”. Again, this confirms we are not saved by our own works, but by the work of Christ. When we accept Him as our savior with full faith, we are washed clean of sin.
When we are dealing with sickness we are to turn to God for a healing. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds, we are healed.” Notice this scripture says, ‘we are healed’, NOT ‘we might be healed’. How do you apply faith to receive a healing from Christ our healer? Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”. Often when we receive a bad diagnosis, our initial understanding of the situation is what the doctor tells us, because it is the first thing we hear when we receive the bad news. Right before my nineteenth birthday, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. When I was admitted to the hospital the doctor came into the room and explained to me what Type 1 Diabetes is, which is an autoimmune disease in which the body makes antibodies that perversely attack the insulin-making cells in the pancreas. The doctor explained to me that I would daily insulin injections for the rest of my life along with frequent blood sugar monitoring and very careful meal planning. In this situation, the first thing I was learned how to inject myself with insulin, check my blood sugar, and count carbs. I was more busy learning how to manage this disease than what the word of God has to say about my situation. Over time I have learned if I want to beat Type 1 Diabetes, I must understand the promise of healing and apply faith to the situation. Right now, I am still battling this disease, but I know what the word of God says, and God has the final say. After applying more faith to my situation my insulin need has decreased by almost 50% in the last year. I have to speak with authority to my body that all my hormones and immune cells will be in perfect alignment, and that there will be a full resurrection of my pancreas.
Much of condition is based off my blood sugar levels on what my glucose meter tells me. Even though I might see some high and low numbers, I know one thing is true and that is 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”. I know I see where my levels are and what the doctors report shows, but with faith, I know what the word of God says. Even though the blood work shows I am a Type 1 Diabetic by antibodies and pancreatic levels, I know that God’s hand is at work in this situation. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”. I might not have seen a report stating I am no longer a Type 1 Diabetic, but by my faith, I am expecting one. I also know Isaiah 53:5 says ‘we are healed’. Jesus never said we would be healed instantly, but we will be healed. A healing might be instant, or it might take time, therefore we must apply Hebrews 11:1. You might know someone who recently died of cancer who had strong faith but still died. One verse I would like to remind you of is Job 1:21, “And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”. Though we might experience a loss or a troubled time, God is still with us and blessed is His name.
Walking in faith can be challenging, therefore we must always be in the word and seeking God daily. Knowing the word of God prepares us for when trouble comes our way. When you are struggling in faith, I would like to remind you of two scriptures which are 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”. We often let fear decrease our faith, therefore we must let our faith overtake the situation and not let our fear overtake us. Also, one of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”. Turn to God in full faith for strength for whatever you are going through in life and remember nothing is impossible with God.