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What is faithfulness as a Fruit of the Spirit?

Faithfulness is one of the fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Our faithfulness is a result of the Holy Spirit's influence in our lives. Faithfulness is a blending of trust, love, and obedience in a God who has proven Himself trustworthy and deserving of our devotion. To have faith in the God of the Bible is to believe He is who He says He is and does what He says He’ll do. Faithfulness is our belief in God's existence even if we can’t physically see Him.

What kind of faithfulness is “fruit of the Spirit” faithfulness?

There are many definitions for the word “faith.” One definition is “a belief that is not based on proof.” We’ve all heard the word "faith" used in this way. Someone might say, “I have faith that the clouds will turn into daisies.” They may deeply believe that the clouds will turn into daisies, but there is zero evidence to support that this ever would (or ever could) happen—no proof.

But the faithfulness described in Galatians 5 is grounded in proven truth. Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus Himself validates truth as very important and exclusive, and even more amazingly, He claims to be the ultimate definition of truth worth trusting in to begin with. We are encouraged to always seek truth as a foundation to our faith (Acts 17:11; Hebrews 5:12-14; Proverbs 3:13; 1 John 4:1-6).

Faithful People of the Bible

Throughout the Bible, we find stories many who trusted God as the One and Only True God. Noah prepared for a flood that no one believed would come; he had faith that what God said would happen, would happen (Genesis 6-9). Even though it was difficult for them, Abraham and Sarah believed that God would give them a child as He said He would (Genesis 21:1-34). God’s follow-through on His promise gave Abraham a solid, logical reason to obey and trust God’s more shocking commandments, such as when God demanded Abraham sacrifice his son Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19). (JFYI: God stopped the sacrifice before Abraham could harm his son.)

God has proven His reliability and trustworthiness again and again. We know that God doesn't change (Hebrews 13:8; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17), so when He follows through on one thing, it makes sense that He will follow-through on the miracles and impossible-sounding promises. Because of this, we can trust Him with our lives, being faithful to believe Him and His Word.

2 Timothy 2:13 says, "If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself." Even if our faithfulness wavers, we can trust that God's never will. THAT is the kind of faithfulness the Holy Spirit is developing within us as we live our lives according to His guidance.

Faith Isn’t Always Easy

Some people will attack faith as a shallow belief in something that is beautiful but only during beautiful times. It’s easy to believe things will continue to work out when times are good. Your grades are good, your job is enough to cover expenses, your family is healthy, your car works. But it can be much harder to believe things will be okay again when your health dives, you get fired, or your car quits on the highway, twenty miles from the next gas station in a dead zone of cell service. How can we stay faithful THEN?

As Christians, the Holy Spirit waters our spiritual path with trials, yes, but He also nourishes us with support, supernatural understanding, peace, and compassion to grow our faith and trust in God. As we grow more faithful about the known blessings, we develop an understanding that in our darkest hours of the unknown—with no hope, no light, no sense of God's presence, when we're deeply discouraged, depressed, anxious, hurting—God is still there.

Sometimes, when we don’t even feel the Holy Spirit, a steadfast faith can remind us that God hasn’t gone away. Maybe we've wandered off on our own, but God is still with us, ready to guide us back to His safety, every step of the way (Psalm 23:1-6).

Faithfulness is No Cheat Code; It's a Skill

Faithfulness isn’t a wishy-washy cheat code to The Good Life or a weak crutch to lean on because you can't handle the woes of the world. Faithfulness is a spiritual muscle that strengthens as we grow in our understanding of God’s character. To have faith in God is to trust that He is the perfect image of goodness, love, and wisdom that He says He is. Faithfulness isn’t just a pretty word. Faith is a tether to something that is so purely TRUE that we can’t even fully understand it with our finite minds.

In our spiritual walk, we will experience doubts and fears and wonder if maybe God isn’t actually there. Maybe He isn’t as good as He says He is. Maybe He isn’t as reliable as we thought He was. There will be so many terrifying "maybes" throughout life. And there is a misunderstanding that to doubt and fear means that we should feel like ashamed failures or that our "supposed faith" means nothing.

But guess what? Even “Doubting Thomas,” who was looking right at the risen Lord but didn't know what to think, was treated with grace and patience by Jesus so he could grow in his faith and understanding (John 20:24-29). We may be “new creations” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and have access to (and are being changed by) the Holy Spirit, but we are still in a fallen world, surrounded by human struggles and confusing events. Many kings and prophets in the Bible cried out to God, begging for understanding in times of suffering. Yet they remained faithful and are listed as “heroes of faith” in Hebrews 11.

There's nothing wrong with crying out to God in helplessness, asking Him to give you greater faith (Mark 9:23-25).

For times of doubt and fear of the unknown, James 1:5 offers beautiful guidance: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” If you’re struggling with doubt or fear, talk to God about it. If you wish to grow in your faithfulness, ask God to grow your faith. The simple act of turning to God, in faith, to ASK for faith, is a demonstration of the stirring of the Holy Spirit’s work in your soul.

TL;DR

Our faithfulness is a result of the Holy Spirit's influence in our lives and a blending of trust, love, and obedience in a God who has proven Himself trustworthy and deserving of our devotion (John 14:6). Because of this, we can trust Him with our lives, being faithful to believe Him and His Word. The Holy Spirit waters our spiritual path with trials, yes, but He also nourishes us with support, supernatural understanding, peace, and compassion to grow our faith and trust in God.

By: September Grace

September Grace is an aspiring novelist, book hoarder collector, and movie watcher. She has a black feline floof named Faust, an assortment of plants that seek global domination, and a distinct lack of awareness for where she is at any given moment.

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