The foundation we are building is strong, the building blocks of being patient, kind, and good will allow us to step out on faith, trusting in a way we have not done in the past. Faithfulness is about trust and hope. If we demonstrate that we are faithful, others develop hope and trust in God. It is said that we can have faith because of those who came before us and set an example of faith. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Welcome back to our Winter Bible Study. This week we see how being faithful influences those around us. We are looking at Galatians 5:19-23 and have focused on the last part of verse 22 and 23, one word at a time.
Galatians 5:22-23; But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
We started with Love; God’s love for us, not our love for Him. He initiated it by removing the obstacles that we put in the way of our relationship with Him. That results in joy and peace, conditions of our heart, something we know inside that shows through our actions and words. That should help us to be patient, kind, and good. We can extend patience and kindness without necessarily guiding people to what is right or wrong. When we add goodness to that we have a responsibility to do what is right in God’s eyes.
That is not always easy because we rest on forgiveness as a crutch to live the way we choose and seek forgiveness later. That is where faith comes in. Faith is what we demonstrate when we do what is right in God’s eyes despite what we see, hear from others or desire to do. Faithfulness puts our trust in God and His plan. It challenges us to accept His authority and allow Him to guide us regardless of what we see or want.
This world has its share of people striving to get to the top at the expense of others. It is commonplace today to hear; “I did what I had to do.” Or “I made my own luck.” We think the decision is in our hands and we have the authority to decide what should happen. The reality is we do not think about the other person.
The world around us is built on faith in one’s self, an idea that we control our own destiny and if we try hard enough, work hard enough, and push hard enough we will succeed. That is not the truth. Oh, we may be considered successful by worldly standards but at what cost? How many people did we push out of the way, step on, climb over to attain that success? How many situations did we manipulate for our benefit at the expense of someone else to advance. How many people did we disrespect to attain what we wanted?
The interesting thing about faith is when we display it we enable others to have it. Faith is encouraging, supportive, and provides hope. Our faith can make a difference in how others decide to choose. The converse is true also; our lack of faith can lead others to make decisions that are not beneficial for them.
When we express faithfulness it benefits someone else. We must understand that we are being faithful to set an example for someone else to see and be encouraged. Our faithfulness is meant to give others hope.
That does not mean being faithful is easy or without sacrifice. Being faithful many times means you do not get to do things your way. It means we must consider the needs of others above ourselves. It means that what we want is secondary to what someone else needs.
There is a chapter of Scripture that is referred to the Faith Hall of Fame; Hebrews 11. In that chapter we find examples of people who trusted God, acted on faith, and watched God do miraculous things. You may know some of the names; Noah, Joseph, David, Moses, and the list goes on.
Hebrews 11:1-2; NLT; Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.
Hebrews 12:1; NLT; Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
Without faithfulness to follow God and His direction examples will not exist to encourage support and give hope to others. If we choose not to be faithful the consequences affect more than just our lives. Our lack of faith will adversely change the direction of the lives around us.
Faithfulness gives hope, encourages, and supports. Faithfulness comes alongside and holds others up. Faithfulness gets you and others through difficult trials and tribulations. Faithfulness makes all the difference in the lives of those around us. God is faithful.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be