Joe was a behind-the-scenes kind of person—quiet, unassuming, often unnoticed. To see him, you wouldn’t think he had been carrying a heavy burden for more than 11 years. But Joe carried it well.

Every so often I would think about Joe. I hardly knew him, but just knowing what he had to live with encouraged my faith in God. Joe was being faithful to his wife, who for 11 years lay in the hospital following brain surgery. With the exception of just 2 or 3 days, Joe visited her in the hospital every day until she died.

Such unfailing fidelity is the stuff God-fearing men and women are made of. It’s the fruit of the Spirit rooted in the hearts of people who hold firm to God’s love through life’s trials. And when you talk with these people, they take no credit for their fidelity but give God all the credit. One Sunday at church before Joe’s wife died, I told him what an inspiration he was to me. He said humbly, “It’s all by God’s grace.”

As we appropriate God’s grace in Jesus Christ and persevere in faith, He gives us what we need to keep the promises we make according to His will. And when one day He says to us, “Well done,” we will respond, “It’s all because You were faithful in keeping Your promises to us.”