“Clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;” Jude 12b, c (NASB)
It is possible that Jude wrote his short epistle in the middle of a real drought. Perhaps he received his inspiration for these divine words as he observed the leaves curling up on the trees and the fruit withering for the want of rain. Perhaps he watched for the signs of a cloud and when a cloud did appear he was hopeful that it would rain; but, when the winds would blow it away, I imagine he had a deep feeling of disappointment. All of us have felt this same disappointment when we were wishing for rain and the clouds seemed to just melt away.
Although Jude is referring to false teachers, unfruitful Christians can be compared to clouds without water. Jude explains why Christians find themselves in this condition. No one is completely immune from this; however, if Christians would always realize that they are engaged in a constant warfare they would not be so easily taken in.
One of the main reasons a Christian fails to produce good works is the failure to exercise faith. In our physical world we live almost entirely by faith. We accept countless things that we cannot see or even explain, but when it comes to faith in God, it is a different matter. No one was ever saved except by faith, so we can begin by saying every Christian has, at one time, exercised complete faith in God.
The disciples experienced a lack of faith a number of times, even after living intimately with the Lord. Jesus rebuked them on one occasion by saying “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” (Matt. 8:26). I wonder how many times the Lord has said that about me.
Every Christian has asked God for blessings that could easily fill a large vat and then hold up to Him a thimble of faith to receive them. We can only receive answered prayers according to our faith.
Another thing that hinders Christians in their fruit bearing is to lend an ear to those who are “grumblers, finding fault,” Jude 16. My advice is to never choose this type of person for an intimate friend. I believe the devil uses this kind of person as a weapon to keep young Christians from accepting places of responsibility in the church. These “grumblers” always point out all the flaws in every Christian’s life who is trying to serve in any capacity. We are told in 1 Thess. 5:22 to “abstain from every form of evil”; and, until a Christian becomes mature enough to realize that anyone or anything that causes them to fail to grow in Christian service is definitely evil, my advice would be to stay away from them. As you grow in grace and become stronger in faith you will be able to win the grumblers by letting “your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matt. 5:16 (NASB). A child is not expected to perform all the feats of an adult; neither is a young Christian expected to have all the strength to battle the wiles of the devil.
Jude closes his epistle by showing how a believer can ultimately be victorious over everything of the world.
“But, you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting;” Jude 20-22 (NASB).
First, work for greater faith. This is done by remembering always every time you relied altogether on God and how He did not fail you. When you pray, mention the times He has answered your prayers, and it will give you faith to believe He will do it again. Tell others about your answered prayers. It will help them and also it will strengthen your own faith. Remember to hold up the proper size vessel of faith so you will be able to receive the blessings asked for.
Second, keep yourself in the love of God. The first sign of drifting from the love of God is your attitude toward your fellow Christians. If you magnify their faults, discuss their shortcomings with others, and even doubt if they are Christians, you are drifting away from God.
Another sign of drifting is self righteousness. The farther away you get from God the better person you think you are; the closer you draw to Him the more humble you become.