When we recognize Jesus as our Savior that salvation comes with more than just the gift of eternal life in Heaven. We are also given the Holy Spirit to dwell within us leading us to the unimaginable truths that the infinite God shares with us. He gives to each of us the portion designed for us and the gifts of His Spirit that allow us to show those truth s to the rest of the world as we become a part of His chosen. These gifts are all smaller parts of God’s complete work. Not only do the gifts differ but the way they are expressed through our life experience differ as well. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them… (Romans 12:6) Two individuals with the gift of teaching will have the ability to reach the people where the Lord has placed them. Two people with the gift of knowledge will have unique backdrops that develops a perspective of God that touches those hearts. Although the gifts of God help us to prosper they are also meant to prosper those around us as we share those gifts. The Bible tells us to share our gifts and the provisions of God with those around us. We are told to share our strength with the weak and in turn someone can share their strength where we are lacking. That is what the church is meant to be. Heart intertwined in love and fueled by God to show all of His amazing attributes to a world in need of His love and in need of a Savior in Jesus. We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” (Romans 15:1-3)
We are not only called to share our gifts but to bear the burdens of our fellow believers so that God can represent Himself in their struggle through us. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Galatians 6:2-3) We must remember that in order to truly represent God to those He puts on our path we must show His attributes. Those attributes are love, selflessness, gentleness, and all of the other Fruits of the Spirit. We have to put the well-being of others above our comfort and let the Holy Spirit guide and support us in places that the Spirit can truly draw hearts closer to God. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
The true reward found in knowing God is in doing His work on earth. The joy that comes from God comes from being a conduit for His Spirit and showing His light to the world. God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. (Hebrews 6:10) Let the gifts of God prosper you as you use those gifts to prosper others. Allow God to move through you as a conduit to those He places in your influence. The more you are faithful with your gifts the more abundance you will see as the Fruits of His Spirit are reflected in your obedience. One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much (Luke 16:10).
In a word: Yes!
Have you ever heard the question of how could God allow evil to exist? The simple answer is that evil would not exist without God. A verse sprung this thought into existence, or should I say allowed a way to put a big concept into words. I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, who does all these things. (Isaiah 45:7) What this says to me is that evil would not exist without good, darkness would not exist without light, joy would not exist without sorrow. How would we recognize one without the other? Darkness is nothing without a reference. Darkness is simply the absence of a real thing, in this case light. Cold isn’t real on its own, it is again the absence of another thing, heat. God is the source of all good and created the light of our world. The absence of Godliness in this world is where we become aware of evil and darkness. The fact that God exists to bring us light, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control is the only way that the opposite can exist as the world turns from is creator. So yes, God did create evil by existing and offering His glory to His creation. He also created free will and allowed us to choose to walk in His light or turn from it and suffer in darkness. God is not evil and His hand does not create the harshness of this world. Those things exist when a hardened and sinful heart falls into pride and rejects the light. God seeks to hold your hand as you reflect His light into the darkness in the earth. He wants you to walk in His presence for all eternity in Heaven. Heaven also has a counterpart: Hell. Hell is simply the absence of all things that God offers. We can never say anyone is sent to Hell by the same concept. Hell belongs to those who reject God and His glory. That decision is simply honored and they are given that wish for eternity. Hell exists because people chose to have a life without God and in turn are allowed to live in that desire. If we remove God, we have Hell; which this world resembles more and more as it falls into selfishness and pride. Be the light, reflect God’s goodness, shine your light on the path that leads to Jesus, and know that turning from darkness leads you into the arms of Jesus Christ.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)
As a believer sheds their self and moves away from worldly comfort and emotionally based happiness, they enter an environment where the Spirit can grow in them and replace the flesh that has dominated their existence. While growth sounds exciting at its initial thought, it can be very painful as faith becomes the basis for movement and not sight. Not many people have complete trust in many people around them. The concept of being able to completely trust God takes effort. He seeks that all things are for our good as we walk in His will. He does not change and cannot lie. All the truth of His word should become as comforting as a warm blanket on a cold day. Growth as we walk in faith reveals how true this is. Growing in faith is as difficult as it is satisfying to our spirit. As the Holy Spirit matures us we begin to bear its fruit: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23a). Growing in Christ-likeness as we walk in the Spirit allows these qualities to show through in increasing measure. This is one of the ways that we are able to shine the light of God into this darkened world. This growth and maturity is a lifelong process. It is even more satisfying when we get closer to God and our perspective of things change and grow with us. His Word is alive and matures us as its depths are revealed to us. It then becomes clear that the depth of our God is infinite and we can never know enough. We are beginning a lifelong commitment that never decreases in the joy and peace that it provides to us as we go deeper into the arms of our Heavenly Father.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)
that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:9b-10)
Patience speaks to much more than the ability to wait. The focus has to be put on how you wait; that is, the actions that accompany the time spent without your desire being fulfilled. We must realize that God’s time and timing transcend our comprehension. To God: (2 Peter 3:8) But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Patience also speaks to the willingness to stick with your convictions in the face of great defiance from the world. It’s the ability to show your light as the darkness of the world creeps in. We must remember that the darker the environment the brighter our light is! (Luke 8:15) As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
As a side thought: What if the deceiver is smart enough to slow his attack on the earth? Slowing the attacks that bring about the apocalypse, not allowing the anti-Christ to come, and continuing to try and overshadow the good of God with the darkness of the world all allow more doubt to creep into this world which is why we must rely on the patience and faith through the Holy Spirit to thrive as the king of this world waits to devour those who abandon the shelter of Jesus.
As we walk hand in hand with the Holy Spirit we can find an inner peace that is independent of the turmoil of our fallen environment. We can find peace as we seek to see the world from the eyes of God. This is the definition of wisdom. God holds this world in His hands and His sovereignty puts all things in motion for His greater purpose. We may not always recognize His purpose but we must also realize that the Lord reveals to His children what He wants us to know. We are not meant to comprehend all things, our fragile minds could not bear the burden. He created us to live in peace always available in His light. (John 14:27) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (Isaiah 26:3) You keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because He trusts in you.