Spirit-Filled Fruit Baskets – Day 6

Introduction

We will spend just one last day on the fruit of love.  So much could be written, but we need to move on with the other fruits if we are to finish by the end of the month.

Today, we talk about love as it pertains to trials.  Sooner or later we all must face them.  Paul gives us a wonderful truth concerning tribulation and love.  So let’s look at it together today.

Focus

“How can a good God allow such things to enter into my life?”

This question, in one form or another, is quite common today.  Perhaps it has always been.  It is often spoken out of the heart of someone who has indeed suffered a tremendous trial, and so we are not quick to cast stones.

Still, consider the audacity of a created being, such as we all are, placing the goodness of God on trial.  Who determined that if God is good, life should be easy?  Where is that written in the Bible?  All we know about God is learned in His Word, and we do not learn this.

Trials and afflictions come to everyone.  Whether you are saved, or whether you are lost, man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward…(Job 5:7)

In Romans chapter 5, the Apostle Paul describes a process that takes place in the life of the believer. Read what he says:

Roman 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

A Christian enters a time of tribulation.  The tribulation causes him to develop patience, as he waits for the trial to pass.  Tribulations often bring pauses into our lives, and pauses require patience.  My little 5 year-old daughter voiced a common feeling while waiting for our food at a restaurant last Sunday.  “Daddy…it is so hard to wait!”

It is hard, but waiting is good for us.

As the Christian learns to wait, he watches as God works in and through the trial.  He sees God’s hand, and feels God’s love.

This experience gives him a sense of quiet comfort, and a hope (or confidence) that he has the favor of God.

The love God has for him is diffused into every part of his being.  How?  By the Holy Spirit the God gave to him!  As he recognizes God’s love for him, and experiences it through trials, it literally fills him up!

You see, dear reader, the fruit of the Spirit is not simply something that is shown by us to others, but it is something given to us, and shown to us by God.  We love Him, because He first loved us!

Trials and afflictions bring about a sense of God’s love in a greater way than prosperity.

God has loved you, even before you were His child.  Paul makes this clear in Roman 5:8, where we are told that God demonstrated His love for us while we were yet sinners.  How much more, then, will he demonstrate it when we are His children!

When I was lost, and without hope in the world, God demonstrated his love for me.  Now that I am his child, and I find myself thrust into a tribulation or trial; God’s love is shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit who now lives inside of me!

Dear reader, if you are not a child of God today, know that He loves you.  He sent his son to die for you.  If you are His child, then know that you do not walk through this valley alone.  Allow the trial to work patience in you.  As you wait, you will gain valuable experience and sense the love of God towards you.  Let it fill you up today.

Our Father, we do not always rejoice when tribulation come.  Yet we know, and rejoice that you will not leave us to face them alone.  Your love for us is demonstrated in those dark nights.  We feel it, because the Holy Spirit sheds it abroad in our hearts.  Thank you for this, Father, and we can say with the psalmist, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.  Thank you for the Holy Spirit that you have given me.  Amen

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