I was thinking recently about how the fruit of the Spirit is the fruit of the SPIRIT, not the fruit of ME! It's HIS nature coming forth and manifesting. It's the way HE acts and it is the product of HIS nature and work. He lives in me and out of me flows His fruit. I don't have to work up love, joy and faithfulness. He is already all of those things in me.
Then I started thinking that not only does the fruit of the Spirit show how He acts through me to others, but it also shows how He acts in me, toward ME! So many times in the past I have believed lies about His nature and character and lived in fear of Him. Now He is showing me again and again that I never have to be afraid of One who is Perfect Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Faithfulness, Kindness, Goodness, and Self-Control. The fruit of the Spirit is the way He treats others and it's the way He treats me, as well!
He has these traits toward us:
Love - He is always loving. Everything He does is done out of love for us. He is Perfect Love. Unchanging Love. Always for the other. He puts our needs first and always does what is best for us. His love flows to us constantly and unconditionally. We can never make it stop, diminish, or be diverted from coming to us!
Joy - He's happy - He knows how things are going to turn out, so He is joyful. And He's delighted in us and joyful over us! He smiles at us always! He delights in us even when we fail! He's inner triumphant happiness no matter what the circumstance. He loves to laugh, loves to hear us laugh, loves to see us having a good time.
Peace - He is calm and well-being and absence of strife. He doesn't have to strive - He's already overcome! He's in complete control. He has complete authority over evil and so is not worried about it. In Him all is at peace, in quiet and stillness and rest. And in Him, in that realm of quiet rest, is where we dwell!
Patience - He is infinitely patient with us. He will go over the same truths with me time after time, never tiring, until I understand them. He won't EVER lose His temper or be pushed to the exploding point, no matter how we mess up. He is always ready to help us, no matter how often we fail.
Kindness - He is kind and helpful. He encourages us when we are down. He loves to shower gifts on us and asks for nothing in return. He gives gifts and never takes them back no matter what. He meets all our needs and goes above and beyond to help us. He is the perfect listener and is our support in hard times. He is there for us before we even turn to Him.
Goodness - He does us good always and will never, NEVER harm us! He always leaves us feeling better, not worse. He gives good gifts, never bad ones. He never sends pain but instead lifts our pain and bears our burdens for us! He's got a GOOD heart! He treats us well no matter how we seem to treat others or Him! He's the Best Friend we've always wanted.
Faithfulness - He will always do just as He promised and will never let us down. He won't ever leave or forsake us. He will be a loyal friend and will never stop loving us or being there for us. He won't reject us or let us go. He's faithful to hold us up and not let us fall. He will always be there to support me, defend me against the enemy's accusations, and protect my heart from evil. He will always come through for us.
Gentleness - He's never harsh with us. He doesn't kick us when where down. He always says just the right thing to encourage us and help me and never to discourage us. He never crushes our spirit, never wounds us. Instead He gently loves and heals us. He knows how tender and vulnerable wounded people are, and He is ever-sensitive to all our needs.
Self-Control - He won't blow His temper with us. We'll never get on His last nerve. He doesn't get irritated and fly off in a rage and punish us. He is calm. He never gets bored with us. He never just puts up with us, never merely tolerates us. He LIKES having us around. His actions toward us are perfect. He will always be exactly what we need Him to be for us at each moment. His great heart meets our every need in super-abundance!
I love the fruit of the Spirit flowing out of me to others, and I love the fruit of the Spirit flowing to my own heart. I think as I experience His Perfect Love toward me, I'm more able to trust Him to live out that same Perfect Love through me.. I have so much to learn and understand, but I am so thankful He is such a wonderful Lover!
With love from