But the fruit of the Spirit is faithfulness. – Galatians 5:22
God is faithful and He wants us too to be – to Him, to others, and to the cause of our faith.
The dictionary defines faithfulness as “adhering firmly and devotedly, as to a person, cause, or idea.” It uses other words like “loyal, fidelity, constancy, and dedication” to introduce ‘dependability and trustworthiness,’ essential components of faithfulness, into the definition.
Faithfulness is a virtue that is required in all things, whether big or small. It does not depend on feelings or emotions but is driven by a sense of sound spiritual reasoning that defies external forces. Faithfulness, in the real sense of it is impelled by an inner, deeper sense of purpose, not compelled by an outside condition or situation. Thus, in and out of season, on good days and bad days, in positive and adverse circumstances, faithfulness is steadfast and dependable, an immovable force in the shifting sands of time.
Faithfulness: No Compromise
Faithfulness is a fire in the bones. It may forswear its loyalty in moments of weak faith, but it will not stop burning. Faithfulness does not make compromises – as Esther said prior to approaching the king, ‘I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish’ – Esther 4:16.
The cross stands as the ultimate example of facing our extremities without any sense of compromise. Jesus was the no-quit Christ who demonstrated how to hold to principle- even to the point of death. Self-sacrifice is the fearsome way to say ‘self-denial’. Jeremiah had denied himself in favour of what God wanted. Jeremiah understood that we must spend the small coins of self-denial in order to buy the great commitments of our lives. The apostle Paul said that he was ‘being poured out like a drink offering’ – Philippians 2:17. Jeremiah’s life was being poured out in utter faithfulness, with no more hint of compromise.
Faithfulness and Our Relationship with Christ
We preach Christ crucified. How can the message of the Good News reach others? So many scoff or turn away. But as we are faithful. God supplies power to continue on, power to overcome. Our steadfast defence of God’s kingdom will evoke His steadfast defence of our lives.
Faithfulness and Our Service to Others
Remember the Lord’s Prayer says, ‘Deliver us from the evil one’ (Matthew 6:13). The evil one is that ever present, ever challenging force that daily strives to destroy our faithfulness. If Satan had his way, all our intentions to stand true will crumble. Paul urges us to wear the armour (Ephesians 6:10-18); clothing ourselves for the fray. With the faithful protection of God’s armour, we are ready to go to battle. We are sent to be faithful in our warfare with Satan. We are to employ God’s armour for our protection and the sword of the Spirit for our faithful advance as we fulfill God’s calling to serve Him.
Faithfulness, The Habit of Spiritual Dependency
The best of all habits is the habit of spiritual dependency. ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight’ – Proverbs 3:5-6.
Faithfulness simply means God can count on us. He can count on us when others are negative. He can count on us to obey when others are disobedient. Faithfulness is the quality that honours God with disobedience – joyous obedience. A faithfulness that grumbles at the requirement of God is not faithfulness at all. It is only grudging acquiescence.
Faithfulness, The High Art of Persistence
Faithfulness is one of the greatest of all virtues. For to believe much but not be faithful brings life at last to nothing. Further, faithfulness begets a hunger to have, not just the blessings of God, but God Himself. Faithfulness will not be satisfied until it sees at close range the God it cannot quit dreaming about. True Christians hunger, not even for the blessings of God, but for God. Faithfulness is the unswerving pursuit of the presence of God.
Faithfulness, The Road that Ends in Victory
Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. – Revelation 2:10.
Stay faithful and you will remain a conqueror. Victory is the end reward offaithfulness. Jehoshaphat was faithful, and God worked in his life (2 Chronicles 20:20-30).
God’s Blessings on Faithfulness
Abram and Sarai, old in years – some would say too old to make such a pilgrimage – set out to obey God (Genesis 12:1-5). They were faithful and in following their faithfulness, they were swallowed whole by God’s blessings.
Christianity is never not intentionally near-sighted. In Matthew 25, the King (who is Jesus) rewards or condemns people merely on the basis of what they have done to bless or curse others. Those who have served others are called blessed by the Father. Faithfulness is not just a Fruit of the Spirit. It is world-view – the basis of our eternal rewards.
God waits to bless us. All we have to do is say, ‘Yes, Lord, I will!’
Rewards Of Faithfulness
1. Divine placement in authority; Anyone who is faithful must be positioned in authority, just like in the case of Joseph the son of Jacob (Genesis 39:4-6)
2. Divine promotion and progress: Faithfulness at your current level is what qualifies you for promotion to the next level.
3. Divine provision, welfare and comfort.
With all of this read, I pray that God will endue us the grace to be faithful and grant us inner strength to be able to say No to every form of compromise, in Jesus name. Amen.
JESUS, MY SAVIOUR, BROTHER, FRIEND – MHB 478
1 Jesu, my Saviour, Brother, Friend,
On Whom I cast my every care,
On Whom for all things I depend,
Inspire, and then accept, my prayer.
2 If I have tasted of Thy grace,
The grace that sure salvation brings,
If with me now Thy Spirit stays,
And hovering hides me in His wings.
3 Still let Him with my weakness stay,
Nor for a moment’s space depart,
Evil and danger turn away,
And keep till He renews my heart.
4 When to the right or left I stray,
His voice behind me may I hear,
“Return, and walk in Christ Thy way,
Fly back to Christ, for sin is near.”
Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Culled from the Fruit of the Spirit Bible.
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By Dr Joyce Aryee, the author