Galatians 5:22-23 KJV
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
When I first saw that faith was list as a fruit of the spirit, I thought that this was some other form of faith than the one I practice every day. After all, there is a gift of faith, and that is a gift is a faith that surpasses a normal every day faith in God, right?
The gift of faith is an actual infusion of the faith of the Holy Spirit into our souls to believe God for what our human mind would have a very hard time believing God for. Then that gift if Faith, since it has no doubt and does not waver, accomplishes what the bearer of the gift asks. This divine infusion may then stay until the prayer line is done, or it may leave after that particular person – it does not stay with the believer at all times. At least that is how I perceive the gift of faith.
But the fruit of faith – is that something different than our own faith? The faith we used to accept Christ, the faith we used to believe God for things during our walk with Him, the faith we practiced when believing God for healing? The answer is no! The fruit of faith has been with us since even before we were saved, because it is the faith that was given to us by measure from the time we were born (Rom 12:3). If not for this seed of faith, no one would come to the Lord! No one would have that faith it takes to accept His grace. It is a gift, a seed planted at the time we were conceived. It has operated in us while we were children believing for the tooth fairy to come at night. This faith is what we have relied on all our lives.
The fruit of faith may have grown in us before we accepted Christ. Some have more faith when they are children and can pray with the sincerest elder saint in the world. Then, as they grow older, they neglect this fruit and wander away from faith, and the fruit starts to whither on the vine. This would describe my walk. My faith withered, but a friend started to water that seed, and nurture it, and the fruit of faith once again started to grown within me. I finally accepted Christ at 24 years old. I thank God my faith did not fully wither away.
For others, their faith just grows on a steady curve because they stay in the word and practice their faith. They keep it active and alive through worship, prayer and the word. They understand that their faith grows and is tested when trials come. They know that the greatest victories come out of the worst trials – their faith tells them this. The fruit of faith just keeps growing, and as a result, we plant seeds of faith in others and cultivate and water those seeds. Their fruit produces more fruit and becomes fruitful. This is a glorious fruit indeed!
The most wonderful thing about this is that if you don’t have the faith you would like to have, you can rest assured faith can grown in you because that is the nature of fruit! Fruit grows and multiplies. As you take little steps of faith and believe for the smallest of things, your faith can grow (Matt 17:20 says all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed). As you recognize God is delivering you from one thing after another instead of giving credit to luck or circumstance than your faith can grow (Proverbs 3:6 says acknowledge Him in all your ways). Then there is this:
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
As you read the word, take note of all the acts of faith that are recorded there. Take note of all the miracles, all the healings, all the times of deliverance, all the obstacles overcome, all the divine prophecies that come true. All of these things happened by faith. Read Hebrews 11 – the faith chapter – and see all the works of faith. All these things are in His word to help build your faith! Spend time in the word of God and you can’t help but have your faith built up.
We all have gone through times when our faith is stronger, and when it is weaker. It is in these times that God will direct us to His word or will bring about situations in our life where we have to extend our faith. He will put us together with people who have less faith so we can see our faith working. These are the times we must take note of because these are the times our faith will grow and be fruitful. Never doubt for a minute that God wants this fruit to grow in you.
Romans 5:1 King James Version (KJV)
5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Justified by faith. I have heard that word justified described as meaning “just as if I’d never sinned”. I like that! It is by faith we accept the sacrifice of Jesus as a replacement for us. We are the ones who sinned and deserved death, yet by faith we acknowledge He is our substitute. It is only by faith we can take that step. Our logical mind will never comprehend it. Faith is what brings that truth inside us.
In fact, our whole salvation experience is by faith. Yes, we can explain what happened to us, and all that Jesus has changed in our life, but in the end, it is faith that attributes all those things to Jesus being alive in our life. That is why the secular world just doesn’t get it. They want physical proof – science – to explain everything. If science can’t explain it, it can’t be true. It may indeed be true to us, but not to them and their logical mind. Creation, original sin, virgin birth, Red Sea parting, Jordan river parting, Holy Spirit infilling – all of these and many more are by faith. Your and my salvation is at the top of that list.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Whether it is wisdom or healing or deliverance or any other thing, we must ask in faith. It is our faith that makes these things become a reality to us. Remember, God always knows what we need. But He wants us to verbalize it so He knows that we know what we need. The story of blind Bartimaeus is a perfect example. It was obvious to everyone the Bartimaeus was blind, yet Jesus asked Him what He desired. God wants us to recognize the needs in our lives, and then come to Him with those needs. This fruit of faith then does its work.
However, if we truly expect a response, our faith must not waver. It must not stop at the request. It must not give up if the answer does not come right away. Our faith must be steadfast, immoveable and resolute. The fruit of faith must remain through every test and trial it faces, through every prayer that does not get answered immediately, through every persecution the world would bring when prayer is not effective for them. This fruit continues to bloom as we acknowledge God in the littler mercies He gives us amidst the bigger prayers and requests. We keep it growing by knowing He is at work at all times. Make sure your faith is always working, always growing!
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
When our faith is truly engaged, we can see the answer before it comes. We can know beyond a shadow of a doubt our request will be answered. Why? Because our faith makes it a reality in our life. Faith extends beyond the circumstances and brings the result into our mind, and we walk toward that result by faith. Our prayers are given substance by our faith, and our mind realizes then evidence.
My cancer is a prefect example. When I was diagnosed, I prayed a simple prayer – that God would use it for His glory. I asked God for complete healing, to be stronger when I finished than when I began. I knew He would grant that request. I could feel it and see it in my spirit. I could sense the testimony of healing that would come out of this disease. I just trusted Him all the way through, because my faith had been extended, and the substance of that prayer of faith was and still is a reality to me. I am close to normal again. The neuropathy in my hands legs and feet is about all that remains of the cancer (from treatment). I know that will be gone as well – by faith.
1 John 5:4
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith
Our faith enables us to overcome this world. We can try to hide from it, to fight against it with words or actions, or to do it in our own strength. But in the end, it will be our faith that will bring us victory. It is faith that gives substance to our prayers of deliverance out of any bondage that would still remain within us. It is faith that allows us to rest comfortably when others would panic. It is faith that brings us joy when our world is crumbling apart. You cannot just summon these things up. It is faith that they are there that will bring them to the forefront.
Overcoming the world is serious business. There are so many attractions, so many things to lure us away from Christ, so many thigs that can capture us and our imaginations. But through faith, all of these allurements can be overcome. All of them can be put behind us. We just have to believe that and then act upon it. It takes a faith that will reach out every day, every moment of every day. A faith that will listen to the voice of truth and not the leis of the world. A faith that never wavers and never ceases. This fruit of faith brings us the victory – and we overcome!
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
I put this verse in last because even though it does not mention the word faith, it is all about faith. Being fully persuaded means that we have been brought to a place where we are convinced of something. There is no doubt in our mind. This takes faith! His word will fully persuade us if we spend the time in that word to search out the truth. We must take the time to learn about this faith, this marvelous fruit, that He has given us. When we understand the depth of faith he wants us to display, then we can work toward cultivating this fruit to that place.
Once our faith has come to it’s full state, we then are persuaded that He will do what He says He will do. That means every promise in the book is mine! Do you know what he has promised you? He has promised healing, deliverance, wisdom, blessing on your family, flocks, career, home, land, etc., and so many more things. They are all yours when you become fully persuaded – when your faith is engaged.
This is probably one of the easiest fruit to grow within ourselves. I could cite many more scriptures, but I want to wrap this up with a quick reference on how to make your faith more fruitful. It’s not hard at all!
1) Read the word of God and recognize all those things that faith accomplishes.
2) Acknowledge the hand of God in everything that transpires in your life
3) Realize that prayers are answered all the time, and give thank for those answers
4) When answers are taking longer, recognize the little mercies along the way
5) Don’t allow anything to minimize your faith – let it be unstoppable.
6) Trust God in everything and give Him praise for everything that enters your life
If you follow these simple steps, you will see your faith growing steadily. The results will amazed you!