God’s Faithfulness

Dear Precious Friends,
As we begin a new week we have been studying the fruits of the spirit. We are reminded we have been given a gift of a new day and we are here because God has a purpose for us. He has given us marching orders of what our #1 job is... Love God. Love Others. Honor Him. Make Disciples.
The "fruit of the Spirit" is what happens when the Holy Spirit indwells a believer. The "fruit" is the product of the Holy Spirit’s cultivation of character in our heart. Galatians 5:22-23 describes what that fruit looks like; and we are going through each one of the fruits of the spirit as a sort of "spiritual check" on ourselves to see how the Holy Spirit has cultivated each one in us and what areas we need Him to help us work on. we have already studied love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and now we are focusing on faithfulness.
Faithfulness is believing that God is Who He says He is and continuing in that belief despite the unexpected changes that occur in life. Functionally, that means we trust what God says in the Bible, and not necessarily what the world or our own eyes tell us. We trust He will work out everything for good. We trust He will work His will in us. And we trust that our situation on earth is nothing compared to our future reward in heaven. The only way we can have such faith is by the Holy Spirit’s influence. He testifies to the truth and impels us to seek God. The Spirit makes us faithful.
Faithfulness has two different meanings. If we mean the faithfulness of God or Jesus, it refers to steadfastness, honesty, firmness, and God's utter dependability based on His unchanging character. If we mean human faithfulness, it refers to our steady allegiance to God and our trust in Him. A "faithful" person is "full of faith"; he believes in the reality of God as revealed in Scripture.

Faithfulness is part of the fruit of the Spirit; it is created within us when we allow the Spirit to work in us. Not only does the Spirit induce us to be faithful, He explains why we should be faithful. John 16:13-14 says that the Spirit discloses Jesus' character to the world. First John 5:6-7 says the Spirit testifies that Jesus is the Savior. And Hebrews 10:15 says that the Spirit bears witness to salvation.

If we are full of faithfulness, we believe God; we trust that He always has our best interests at heart. We trust that we are ultimately safe. We believe that He loves us (John 3:16), He wants to be with us (John 14:2), He is powerful enough to save us (John 14:6), and He is working in us (Philippians 1:6). And we live with the confidence that we will receive God's promised blessings, even if we never see them in this lifetime. I call this Godfidence.

How many of you can relate to not understanding what God is doing yet knowing HIs word and knowing not all things are good, like things we can't ever understand, yet knowing He will work all things together for good... In 2018 my year started with my Mother in Law going to heaven, only to be followed by my Mom getting pneumonia 2 weeks later and being intubated and in ICU for 18 days only to be released in God's loving arms as she entered heaven. We never saw it coming and it was shocking. Then the following month my sweet dog Reese's went to heaven after protecting Rick in our garage from a Mama bear that was crazy and mauled him... and 2 weeks of ICU again trying to save him.. all while trying to help my Dad who was lost without my Mom, had Parkinson's and was really going downhill. Many of you know these struggles.. and he went to heaven a few months later. Never have I been so heartbroken to have so much loss in such a short amount of time... and yes... I knew God was faithful but I struggled greatly to understand that His ways are higher than mine and there is a purpose for everything under heaven, I had to trust and remain faithful to Him and looking back I realize how faithful He was to me and my family providing everything we needed, and such a beautiful community of faith and believers who rallied around us, loving us, supporting us and helping us get through the most difficult season of life I had known.

Faithfulness is necessary when God's promises seem to completely contradict what we see. When God's ways are hidden from us (Isaiah 45:15), when evil strikes, when hardships come one right after another—that's when we need the Spirit to produce His fruit of faithfulness in us.

Faith is the opponent of fear. Faith protects us from fear, and fear erodes faith. Ephesians 6:13-17 lists the armor of God. Faith, "in addition to all," is the shield. If our shield of faith is strong enough to put out all the flaming arrows of the enemy, we are spiritually invulnerable.

Mark 4:35-41 tells the story of Jesus calming the storm. After being roused by the terrified disciples, Jesus stopped the wind and the waves and said, "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" (Mark 4:40). We are used to being told that trials bring about spiritual growth. Here's another side of things: it wasn't that Jesus was intentionally using a fierce storm to grow the disciples' faith; it's that He didn't even consider the situation worthy of notice. The disciples feared because they had no faith. Their faith would eventually grow to the point where imprisonment became an opportunity for a praise service (Acts 16:22-25) and a snake bite was a minor irritant (Acts 28:4-5). Faith in God means not fearing worldly troubles, not just because God's sovereign will is for our benefit, but because we "count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:8).

Hebrews 11 contains a list of some Old Testament characters who knew God and steadfastly believed His promises. None of these figures saw God's promises completely fulfilled. Abraham and Sarah were able to witness the birth of Isaac, but neither lived long enough to see their line become a mighty nation. Joseph had faith that the Israelites would escape Egypt and return to the Promised Land, but that didn't occur until four hundred years after his death. Moses trusted God that his service would bring Israel to the Promised Land, but he never lived to see God's people become a settled nation.

The Bible has much to say about the gift of faith. Faithfulness has two different meanings. If we mean the faithfulness of God or Jesus, it refers to steadfastness, honesty, firmness, and God's utter dependability based on His unchanging character. If we mean human faithfulness, it refers to our steady allegiance to God and our trust in Him. A "faithful" man is "full of faith"; he believes in the reality of God as revealed in Scripture.

Faithfulness is part of the fruit of the Spirit; it is created within us when we allow the Spirit to work in us. Not only does the Spirit induce us to be faithful, He explains why we should be faithful. John 16:13-14 says that the Spirit discloses Jesus' character to the world. First John 5:6-7 says the Spirit testifies that Jesus is the Savior. And Hebrews 10:15 says that the Spirit bears witness to salvation.

If we are full of faithfulness, we believe God; we trust that He always has our best interests at heart. We trust that we are ultimately safe. We believe that He loves us (John 3:16), He wants to be with us (John 14:2), He is powerful enough to save us (John 14:6), and He is working in us (Philippians 1:6). And we live with the confidence that we will receive God's promised blessings, even if we never see them in this lifetime.

As we examine our hearts about this fruit of the spirit, let's ask the Holy Spirit to grow our faith and our faithfulness being so grounded in God's word and truth that we live in this confident assurance through all things.
Now can I have an AMEN!!!

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