"For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay." Hab. 2:3 Disillusionment is the ax that satan has designed to cut down the tree of faithfulness. "Though it tarries," is the way that God purifies our faithfulness, making sure that it is a faithfulness to HIM, not the "outcome."
"And He said, 'Come!' and Pete got out of the boat, and walked on the water and come toward Jesus." Matt. 14:29 Faithfulness is to the word that the Master speaks. That word, empowered by His grace at that moment, is all that we have to go on. Reason, worldly wisdom, common sense, are not what we are faithful to. Our faithfulness flows from our belief in the power and love of God. This is fruit, not a work that we strive for, but a life-filled outflow from deep roots. God is good. Simplicity, child-like trust is our ultimate call. Resurrection, when all is totally dark, remember. God's faithfulness does not end in death, resurrection is His 'trump card.'
This word is used almost exclusively as the attitude we should have when restoring someone. Jesus describes Himself as gentle. Israel's coming King is described in Psalms as gentle, preferring to enter His kingdom on a donkey instead of a stallion. This fruit is desperately needed, and like the awful smelling manure that drenches the most productive fields, the growth for this frui has taken place in dark, terrible times that the Lord has redeemed. Those with a spirit of gentleness have been "great sinners," who have felt the loving hand of restoration extended to them. People who have no hope of ever 'coming back' are drawn to those with a gentle spirit. "I know the pit You got me out of and so no pit is too dark and deep for me to reach into." This reaching "Believes all things," trusting the God who restored them will also restore this one. This reaching is not so mich a reaching down, as a reaching across, because the reality of the grace that has been shown to me is never far from my consciousness and it shows in my gentleness with other's sins.
God, may this fruit grow in abundance in my life, in Your church.