Has God left the building? Is He on vacation and forgot His cell phone? Or is He just ignoring me? When God seems to be silent, silence is not golden! At least it seems that way. However, sometimes God’s silence is redemptive. Maybe He is following the proverb, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it.
Hope is a simple yet powerful word. As we continue in this unprecedented time, at least for us who are living through this pandemic, hope is vital. That with which we are faced has many unknowns. The talking heads on television attempt to give us answers, but no one has the answers to our many questions. What is stated one day may change the next. Life has changed as we have known it. We are not certain what tomorrow may bring. The uncertainties we face and the variety of opinions we hear, do not bring us stability for the day. Hope is desperately needed.
Hope! I hope I get a new bike for Christmas! I hope to be there on time! I hope you like the new color of my hair! Those definitions are like wishful thinking. How do those expressions fit with this Bible verse? “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Eight down and one to go! Hmm! That doesn’t quite sound right. There are nine fruit of the Spirit, Holy Spirit that is: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23) As an aside for memory retention, the first three have one syllable, the next three have two syllables, and the last three have three syllables. Today we are on the last three syllable word, self-control. A basic meaning is having power over self, but what does that mean?
“Don’t bruise the fruit!” (Yikes, that was my mom’s voice I heard, but she said it in a gentle way! LOL) I am sure some of you have been told to be gentle with fruit! How often have you heard that gentleness IS a fruit? Well, it is in God’s Good Book! The Holy Spirit gives us gentleness as one of the nine varieties of fruit. The shocking revelation about the fruit of the Spirit is that no law limits how much fruit you can bear. We have many, many laws to limit our behaviors and actions.
The “tree” is producing “fruit” thanks to the Holy Spirit! The Bible promises that each Christian will produce nine types of fruit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, FAITHFULNESS, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23) If your refrigerator quits working 2-3 days every month, is it faithful? If you regularly skip work one day of every week, will your boss check the “faithful” box on your next review? I suggest he would cross out the “full” and insert “less.” I think we all prefer faithful people, friends, leaders, and family.
Good day, Mates! It IS a good day! We may not always be certain that the day is good, but we can be certain that God is good – all the time! The Bible speaks to us about our God and His goodness. “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8 NLT) “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1 NLT)