Developing the Fruit of the Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Following the list of 17 works of the flesh-which, if practiced, will prohibit us from inheriting the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21) -are the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit. As I was reading this the other day, I began to think about how God develops these fruit in our lives.
Jesus said, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matt. 7:16, 19). Many times the nine fruits of the Spirit are developed and brought to perfection through contrasting and opposing forces. Jesus says, “Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2). Often times through trials and bitter life experiences, God prunes and purges us to bring forth fruit, or more fruit. This is what God showed me concerning the development of these 9 fruit in our lives.
(1) Love is cultivated through loving those who hate, spitefully use and persecute you.
(2) Joy is developed by those who pass through the valley of Baca (sorrow) and make it a spring.
(3) Peace comes to maturity when you cast your cares on Jesus in the midst of confusion or life storms.
(4) Longsuffering/Patience can only be formed through overcoming very long and difficult trials.
(5) Kindness shines forth in the midst of the rude, uncouth, ungrateful and unthankful.
(6) Goodness manifests amongst the wicked with their cruel and deceitful acts.
(7) Faithfulness is at its best when confronted by the failure and betrayal of those we trust the most.
(8) Gentleness is developed when confronted by anger to which one does not respond to.
(9) Self-control is the discipline you exercise as you are tempted by unrestrained lust, passions and desires.