Living in the Spirit

Living in the Spirit

The Fruit of the Spirit sound so simple in concept: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). Yet achieving these qualities and walking in them daily is quite another matter.

It’s easy to experience peace when life goes smoothly, but a much greater challenge to exude when your doctor shares unwanted news or job lay-off puts you in financial strain.

It’s easy to be filled with joy in the happy times, but not so simple when you’ve lost a child or spouse, when a fire destroys your home, or an unexpected phone call shatters your world.

So how do we hold onto these godly attributes during the stormy times of life? How can times of heartache and turmoil be transformed into times of trust and spiritual growth?

Following are four truths we need to remember when hard times threaten to strip away these God-given qualities ~ the Fruit of the Spirit.

~ God doesn’t expect us to wear a smile when our hearts are hurting.

Scripture tells us to “rejoice with those who rejoice: mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12: 15). Jesus knows first hand what it is to experience sorrow. He, Himself, wept at the tomb of Lazarus and again in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Lord understands when we grieve or fret over a hardship. Peace and joy are something that flows from within as we draw upon God’s strength and embrace His presence in our lives. It doesn’t mean we’ll never experience sorrow, only that we know where our source of hope lies.

~ God gifts each of us with varying degrees of abilities.

We must resist comparing ourselves to others. The Lord entrusts each of us with gifts. Some individuals may have the gift of service (kindness) and give to others in ways we would never think of giving. To others, God gives the gift of patience in working with young children or troubled teens. To still others, He gifts a sincere compassion (love) for a certain people group or ministry.  I Corinthians 12 speaks of the varying ministries and gifts the Lord provides. While patience may come easily for some, others will find self-control is their strong suit. Resist comparing your God-given abilities with those of others.

~ The Fruit of the Spirit is meant to be more of a way of life than a continuous feeling.

Face it. There are times in our lives that don’t feel joyful or good. Life has a way of throwing things at us that tend to rob us of our good intentions and steal our joy. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have God’s Spirit living within us. It just means we have to draw closer to God to sense His presence. Proverbs 3:3 urges us, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”  On days when the peace and joy of God seem far away, remember this verse: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Deuteronomy 31:6)

~ Our own strength will fail us, while the Lord’s strength is constant.

So often we try to manage our lives on our own strength, forgetting to call upon the Lord to carry us through. But going it alone only leads to failure and frustration. Relying on the Lord’s strength to carry us through the day not only empowers us to walk in His ways, but allows us to be willing vessels to serve Him in whatever aspect He chooses. Drawing from His power and strength will enable His love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control to flow through us into the lives of others.

 

Cynthia Roemer About Cynthia Roemer

Cynthia Roemer is a Christian writer from rural Illinois with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the lives of others through her writing. She and her husband, Marvin, have been married for twenty-four years and have two college-age sons. Find out more about her and her writing on her website: http://cynthiaroemer.com/

Comments

  1. Becky Smith says:

    Thanks, Cynthia, for this encouraging post!

  2. Laurie Driesen says:

    What an important message Cynthia! Our pastor just preached on holiness. I liked how you said that we know where our source of hope lies. So we can feel sorrow at times without losing hope.

  3. Bettilu Davies says:

    Thank you very much for this post. It is timely and valuable.

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