The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against these things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
I hope you all found ways to live out the fruit of “goodness” yesterday.
Sunday is Day 7 – FAITHFULNESS
You know, being faithful is kind of like being on a team. If your team loses a game, you don’t quit and go join the other team, do you? I sure hope not. A good team is made up of members who are loyal to the team. Teammates who trust and believe in each other. It’s the same in a family, in friendships, and at work.
But greater than the relationship you have with your teammates, family, friends, or someday even your wife or husband; the greatest relationship in your life is your relationship with God, a relationship we have no way of understanding except through Jesus.
Being faithful to God means that you will stay on his team, no matter what happens. Actually, this is where the analogy breaks down, because God’s team is not necessarily one we can “quit,” since God chose us and continues choosing us, because God is faithful even when we are not.
This may seem either really easy or really hard to you, depending on what you’ve gone through in life so far. Some of you may have experienced great loss (someone close to you dying, friends moving away, parent’s getting divorced, or something else), and if you’ve gone through something like this I think it’s natural to question God, be mad at God, and maybe even stop believing that God exists for a little while.
I wish I had a great response to those of you who have had your faith and belief in God put into question because of terrible things that have happened to you or your family, but I don’t…no one does.
A few years ago, doctors found a large tumor inside my dad’s heart and he had to be rushed into surgery to have it removed. I spent a lot of time with my family at the hospital and I can remember sitting in the waiting room as my dad was on an operating table with his chest and heart cut open and I asked God, “Why is this happening? Why my dad? Why our family?”
Luckily, everything with surgery went well and my dad has now fully recovered, but just because things went good does not mean I didn’t have to ask some serious questions of God and of my own personal faith.
I realize that it’s easier to say things like “God is faithful” when things work out the way we hoped (because my dad is okay). But would I still be saying “God is faithful” if I had prayed for my dad to be okay and he didn’t make it through surgery, if I didn’t have a father anymore? I sure hope so, but I don’t know.
What I do know is that God’s faithfulness does not depend on whether my dad lives through surgery or whether terrorists crash airplanes into buildings, or even if my team wins and your team loses. God has been faithful, loving, and fair since the world was created (and in case you forgot, that was a long time before any of us were living).
God’s faithfulness is constant. It’s always there, kind of like the wind is always blowing even if you don’t see it or feel it, or the sun is shining even if there are clouds covering it from view. God is faithful to us and as much as we are capable, we should remain faithful to God and each other.
I realize this is all kind of deep and like I said earlier, it may seem either really simple or really difficult, depending on what you’ve been through in life, but regardless of what you’ve been through, here is my prayer for all of us.
Dear God, Help us to be faithful to you. Give us an understanding that you created all good things and all praise and glory for those good things belongs to you, not us. Some of us have been through some really difficult stuff, and we feel like we have reason to question if you’re even there. Help us remember that you do not allow bad things to happen, but that we live in a world where evil exists and because of that, bad things can happen. We ask for your wisdom and strength to remain faithful to you, to our friends and families, and to the hope that we will one day live with you in heaven where there will be no crying, no hurting, and no worrying. Until that day, we ask for your protection and guidance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.