Countenance

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. — Galatians 5:22

The evidence of Spirit-filled living will not be in what we say or even in what we do. It will be written on our faces in our countenance of love, joy, and peace.

The first proof is found in love. The Greeks had three primary words that translate into our English vernacular as love. One is a fleshly, sensual, or passionate kind of love. Another is a fondness or affection, a kind of brotherly love. And then there is God’s love, agape. This is a selfless love that seeks only the highest good for others — no matter what they may do to insult, injure, or humiliate us. Agape is the word Paul used here in Galatians 5:22. All the other manifestations of the fruit are simply different expressions of this agape love.

In addition to love, joy will also be evident on the face of a Spirit-controlled believer. This is not the sort of joy that comes from defeating an opponent or escaping some trouble. Instead, it is a joy that only God can give, a joy that persists and endures even when the shadows of life come our way.

And then there is peace, that blessed inner tranquility that the Spirit-filled believer is able to draw on when circumstances are anything but peaceful. It is the very peace Jesus promised when He said,
 

My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.
— John 14:27


For the believer, love, joy, and peace join together to shine on our faces — and give glorious proof of the presence of the One who lives within us.

CODE WORD: COUNTENANCE

When you look in the mirror, what do you see in your face? Ask the Spirit to grow His fruit within you so that it shines on your countenance for all to see.
 

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:7


Lord, on my own, I can’t love everyone, or be joyful in all things, or have peace in the midst of troubles. It is only through Your Spirit within me that I can be filled with Your love, Your joy, Your peace. Live through me to touch someone today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

God’s still on the Throne

…because everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world. This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith. (1 John 5:4)

At every turn in the road one can find something that will rob him of his victory and peace of mind, if he permits it. Satan is a long way from having retired from the business of deluding and ruining God’s children if he can. At every milestone it is well to look carefully to the thermometer of one’s experience, to see whether the temperature is well up.

Sometimes a person can, if he will, actually snatch victory from the very jaws of defeat, if he will resolutely put his faith up at just the right moment.

Faith can change any situation. No matter how dark it is, no matter what the trouble may be, a quick lifting of the heart to God in a moment of real, actual faith in Him, will alter the situation in a moment.

God is still on His throne, and He can turn defeat into victory in a second of time, if we really trust Him.

“God is mighty! He is able to deliver;
Faith can victor be in every trying hour;
Fear and care and sin and sorrow be defeated
By our faith in God’s almighty, conquering power.

“Have faith in God, the sun will shine,
Though dark the clouds may be today;
His heart has planned your path and mine,
Have faith in God, have faith alway.”

“When one has faith, one does not retire; one stops the enemy where he finds him.”
~Marshal Foch