Joy is love’s cheerfulness
Peace is love’s confidence
Long-suffering is love’s composure
Kindness is love’s considerateness
Goodness is love’s character
Faithfulness is love’s consistency
Meekness is love’s comeliness
Self-control is love’s conquest
- by Taylor
All Christians are chosen ‘out of the world’ to “bear fruit.” John 15:16: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of Father in my name, he may give it to you.” All kind of fruits are produced from some kind of seeds and the kind of seed that is sown determines the fruit that will be produced. In order to bear fruit of God, one has to be purified by the Word of God and has to abide in Him. As roots of a tree help to absorb enough water and all the needed nutrients from the soil to bear fruits, God wants His children to be fruitful in all seasons, who live in obedience of Christ, from the hidden work of the Holy Spirit.
The fruit-bearing refers to spiritual virtues such as fruit of the spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self control; against such things there is no law.” Bible tells us that these are the fruits of Holy Spirit and the evidence of God working in us. Ephesians 5:9 says, “For the fruit of the spirit is in all goodness, righteousness and truth.”
Love is one of the fruits of the spirit. In Greek, love has four different meanings. 1) Eros: love between men and women. 2) Storge: motherly love. 3) Philia: friendly or brotherly love. 4) Agape: Godly love. Romans 12:9 states, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave that which is good.” 1 John 4:12 reminds us, “No man hath seen God at anytime. If we love one another, God dwelt in us and His love is perfected in us.” Christ is our great example of love, that he laid down his life for us. If we truly experience that love, we will have joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self control.
Joy is often refers to gladness in Bible, which is happiness in realizing God’s favor and grace in one’s life and it does not depend on the circumstances. James 1:2,3 say, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” Peace is life without conflicts, as well as wholeness and harmony with God and others. Peace results from allowing the Holy Spirit work in our mind and hearts. When we have peace, not only, we will be free from fear and worries but also we exhibit the peace even when our circumstances are far from calm.
Forgiveness and long-suffering or patience are also the fruit of the spirit. Often we find forgiveness difficult, both to give and receive, but it is central to our faith. First, we have experienced the forgiveness from God and as God’s children we need to let others experience from us also. In Matthew 18:21,22, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” 2 Peter 3:9 shows Lord’s long-suffering towards us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Gentleness and meekness is also one among the fruit of the spirit. In Matthew 11:29,30 Jesus shows us that meekness is strength under control, has its basis in love, not weakness. He says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Also Jesus says in Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.” Meekness is enduring injuries caused by the world, or the others from church without resentment and with patience. Numbers 12:3 gives us the perfect example: “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men who are upon the face of the earth.
Temperance or self control is another fruit of life. Proverbs 25:28 says, “He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 16:32 says, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that taketh a city.” The message of wisdom is that one must “rule his spirit.” These both Proverbs explain the difference of not having self control versus the value of having it.
(1) Slavery to sin: Romans 7:18-20 says, they are slaves to them and are “prisoners of the law of sin.”
(2) Lack of the Word of God: As mentioned in Luke 8:12, the seed, which is the Word of God can be taken away by the devil from our hearts. Instead, as Psalms 119:147,148 say, we should keep the Word and meditate on it.
(3) Lack of indwelling of the Word of God: Luke 8:13 says the seed fell on the rock, did not have root. These are the people who believe the Word for a while and in time of temptation, fall away.
(4) Cares of the world: Luke 8:14, “And that which fell among thorns are they which, when they have heard, go forth, and are chocked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.”
Bearing the fruit of the spirit during the wilderness or our hard times is not that easy. For that, we need to plant ourselves by the living water of Jesus, pray to grow, and bear fruit of the spirit in all seasons. Psalm 1:3 says, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season; Whose leaf also does not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper.”
If God uses seasons to prepare us, we can be fruitful in any of the season we are in our life. If we are in the journey through the desert right now, Isaiah 43:19 says that the Lord will do a new thing. He will make rivers in the desert, so that we can produce fruit and grow. No matter how dark our life gets, or how abundant our blessings are, God has a purpose and plan to grow you through this season and bear fruit of the spirit.