By Pastor Alex Ruelo
Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”
What does it mean to be faithful? To be faithful to something is to be devoted to it. Dedicated, committed, loyal. To be trustworthy and reliable. That is why there are some you call devotees, because they are devoted to something.
As people, you can be faithful to many things. To a brand, to a sports team, to a brand of soap or toothpaste, to a friend and most especially to your spouse. But God called us to be faithful first and foremost to Himself. Matthew 25:21 says ““His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your happiness..” The fruit of the Spirit that is faithfulness is faithfulness to God. It is good to be faithful in many other things but be faithful to God first. Have you heard of the saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it?” Just like Thomas who said he will believe Jesus is alive when he puts his finger in His wounds. That is why Jesus said, “Blessed are those who believe even when they do not see.”
Faithfulness is different from believing. You can believe that Jesus is your Savior but not be faithful to Him. Abraham knew he should believe in God. But he doubted when God said he will have a son. Many believers in the Bible had doubts too. Nowadays, there are many Christians who believe in God but are not faithful to Him.
Faithfulness comes from a place of trust and loyalty. Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is a confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” It is one thing to simply believe in God and another to be faithful to Him. If you are not hoping for things to happen, you lose faith. Faithfulness will come from those things. The question is, what are the things that can happen to people that makes them lose their faith?
The first stage of Christianity is believing that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior. The next step is to remain faithful to Him.
Overcome your fear. - Fear is the opposite of faith. It is a great immobilizer that has frozen many people in their tracks and kept them from accomplishing all they were created to do in God’s kingdom. Fear caused the Israelites to grumble and conplain as God was about to deiver them from Pharaoh. Fear froze the armies of Israel against Goliath. Fear caused Jesus’ disciples to wake Him up durint the storm. It caused Peter to deny Jesus three times. The corona virus has paralyzed so many things and so many people and brought about so much fear upon everybody. Fear limits everything you need and want to do in life. It is not yet happening and you are thinking about it already. 1 Timothy 1:5-7 says “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.” Fear is holding so many people back. It is not something God wants you to have. God wants you to overcome your fear. Some people will cause you to be fearful instead of faithful. Beware of those people.
Count your blessings. - Even the little things. It is easier to be faithful when you remember His faithfulness. You will be surprised by how many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon you. When you think life is at its worst, count your blessings. Psalms 103:1-5 says “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Do not forget even one blessing that God gave you. Count and you will remain faithful.
Remain in God’s strength that is in the Holy Spirit - of all the things that you need to be reminded of, it is this: that you arw not alone. You have been given the Spirit of God, and His Spirit is not one of fear but of power and love and sound judgement. Faithfulness comes from the Holy Spirit. Paul said you can be baptized in water and know Jesus Christ but not be baptized by the Holy Spirit. You need to meet the Holy Spirit. Because these things are only produced by Him.
Be an encourager.
Be mindful of the past.
Be active in the present.
Be reliant on the Holy Spirit