Friday, August 01, 2008

The Fruit of Faith

I've been thinking about faith lately. Specifically, the fruit of the spirit is faith - the kind of faith our lives are supposed to bear as evidence that we are lead by the Spirit.

I looked it up in the Greek and discovered faith is a conviction of the truthfulness of God especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; and a constancy in such professsion.

It is easy for me to say that I have faith. I believe 100% in the truthfulness of God. I rely on Christ for my salvation. I feel pretty consistent in these beliefs... in my head.

But do my actions back it up?

In the past two weeks we have had some rather expensive car repairs. Expenses that exceeded the amount we had budgeted for them. The day we found out about the first round of expense, I also discovered a budgeting error in our favor. We had the money to pay our bill without tapping into savings. Praise God!

Kory just called me today with the expense report for round two of repairs. Thankfully, Kory had recently completed an outside job and we received two checks in the mail this week that will cover those repairs. Again, Praise God!

It is easy to have faith in God's provision (one part of his truthfulness), when the provision appears immediately. But, when God's timing does not match up to mine, do I still bear the fruit of faith in my life? Do I still trust in the promise of His provision?

On another vein, when tragedy strikes and a young mom is taken away from her son and husband, am I still convinced of God's truthfulness?

What does faith look like in real life?

What do you think? How does the fruit of faith appear in your life? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!

5 comments:

Genny said...

I recently saw a wonderful example of faith...a woman in our church who lost her husband to cancer. She says her faith has never been stronger. It was such a testament to me that, even in the midst of tragedy, if we cling to our faith, we have hope.

Samantha @ the Listener's post said...

I've been doing a study on faith since She Speaks. First I looked at Hebrews 11:1 - the definition of faith - and kind of took that verse apart looking at the Greek behind "hope" and "certain".

I always thought that "hope" was like wishing for something on your birthday or finding the light at the end of the tunnel. But hope in God - according to what I understand of the Greek - is more like a "confident expectation" that God is going to fulfill His promises in our lives.

So then I started going through Hebrews 11 section by section - you know, all those "by faith" statements. I'll read one then jump to the Old Testiment reference for that story. After reading that I think, what is it that this person (or these people) confidently expected from God and what was it that they couldn't see but knew would happen?

After answering those question, I then try to apply it to my life. Am I too waiting for a promise like Abraham? Am I facing the impossible like Moses or Noah? Where do I need victory like Joshua? What is it that I cannot see but I know God will do in my life?

I know that's a long answer (and not really the one you were asking for), but it's really helped me begin to see the fruits of faith in my life - where they exist and where they need to be. Most of all, it's really helped convict me of the times I claim to not have enough faith, when by the Hebrews 11:1 definition I really do.

I'm loving this study - I'm sure it's not the first time that anyone's ever done it, but it's a first for me. I've still got quite a bit left (I'm taking my time), but I don't want to see it end!

Anyway, thanks for letting me share, and sorry for hogging your comments.

Love ya,
Sam

Gabe & Laura said...

While I haven't experienced it yet, I think that it will be awesome to see the fruit of my faith through my children - in the way that they speak to the Lord, in their actions and in their decisions. I have to remember that although Caleb isn't speaking yet, he's watching. My faith will bear fruit through Caleb's faith as he grows.

Sarah said...

Wow, Megan, convicting post! I totally know what you mean. We have had BIG bills lately...lots of hospital bills, dentist bills...on and on and on! It's so true, just when I think we won't make it, God provides! You are right again - where's my faith when my timing and God's don't match. Thanks for the reminder!

Taylor said...

I don't know megan....what I know in my life is that I have been to the absolute pit of hell, umm, you know suicidal....nothing to live for...why do I have to be here? Life is so very painful and making sense of it without God is impossible...so I have found-the hard way..... b/c of this pit I have been in.

In the thought process leading me to take my own life, I said, I'll try God and see what happens. So every breath of my being then and today is centered on Him...truly, b/c there is no purpose to life otherwise. I have given my life up in that moment as a last resort. B/c of all this my every move is based on faith in Him - it is the only reason I live.

Since that long season of "hell," when God commands me to do something, more often than not I just do. #1 - because I don't want to disappoint Him and he gives me purpose, #2 - I desire to grow in Him so that he may use my life someday for His glory, #3 That I may share with others how awesome a God I serve especially when I act by faith and he delivers - and then #4 the verse Matthew 6:26 just comforts me.

I guess it all boils down to "What is the purpose of our lives?" God has NEVER disappointed me when I have acted in faith.

Now let me put this disclaimer in, obviously, I am not perfect and I struggle at times in acting out my faith and we are all on our own paths/journeys to sactification. There have been times the pressure has been so great - like lossing my first good girlfriend over not allowing she and her boyfriend at the time to sleep together in my house. I think God calls us to act in faith to see how much we magnify Him in our lives and honor and serve Him, versus how much we magnify the world in our lives and honor and serve the world. If it is hard to do, you are probably doing the right thing. And what is more valuable in our lives than what we have labored in love over!?! I always worry that my thoughts will come across with a pure intent and not a 'I am better than you,' translation so please know I am only sharing what I have found to be successful in my life as I journey closer to God. -Taylor