But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22
What a list of attributes to strive for! Would you be able to check each one of them off with confidence and know that you are living in a way that is pleasing to God?
I would like to think that I could check off a couple fairly quickly, but the others, I know I really need to work on. The biggest one for me is patience. I don’t do well waiting for anything, and it is really difficult for me to wait on news about a health issue about someone I care about, or to patiently wait for a resolution to a problem that is causing them great despair! I rationalize it as love and concern, but I realize it is also a failure on my part to trust – which means my ability to be faithful is weak. Then there’s self-control, and. . . the list goes on.
Why are these things so hard for us? I think we all want to be filled with the fullness of His grace in each of these areas and we really try, but we also have to recognize that these are not qualities we can completely achieve on our own. We need His Spirit within us to do so. But before this Spirit can bring about these changes in us, we must make a deliberate, conscious effort to surrender our will to His and depend upon His grace and power to transform our hearts.
It’s not easy to give up that control over our lives that we long to have. But thankfully and miraculously, when we accepted Christ into our lives, He sent His Spirit to live in us and empower us to do things that we could never accomplish on our own – things such as being able to love unselfishly and unconditionally, to experience joy in the midst of all circumstances, to possess a quiet peace during difficult times, to express patience and perseverance, to always show kindness and to respond in goodness, to be faithful to God and others, to be gentle in spirit, and to use self-control and restraint in all areas of our lives.
Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome the weaknesses of our own human spirits. If we can do so, then we will be able to live fuller, richer lives, knowing we are being all He intended us to be.
I am so grateful that we have a loving Father who understands our frailties and sends His Spirit to live in us to remind us of the love, grace, strength, and power we can have through Him. May we utilize that power within us to fully experience all He has to offer and know that we have been given “the fruit of the Spirit.”
Dear God, thank you for your Spirit that lives within us. Help us to call upon the power you have given us to have the qualities that make up a true believer in Christ and that would give us a more abundant life. Amen