faith, fruit of the spirit, goodness

His Goodness Makes Us Good #FruitoftheSpirit

As we continue our series of the Fruit of the Spirit, we have come to goodness. Truly, only His goodness makes us good. But sometimes it’s hard to believe his goodness. Sometimes his heart is on trial in our lives. When life gets hard, we wonder if He is really good.

Questioning God’s Goodness

Prayers aren’t answered, troubles seem to multiply, and we question the power, goodness, and faithfulness of God.  But when we start to think this way, we need to begin looking for the tangible goodness and promises of God because they’re all around us.

When we find those tangible good blessings and promises of God, it is easier to claim with the psalmist these very important words:

You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.

Psalm 119:68
mad at god

I’ve been on deserted islands where all seemed lost. The ship had sailed.  I was mad at God, restless and miserable until I could finally say again, “But I know You are good.”

I wrote this in my grief:

I heard Jesus was back in town,

But I didn’t want to go.

I was just so confused and hurt when he didn’t heal my Lazarus

I didn’t want my face to show.

How could I commune with the One

Who could’ve taken her pain away?

Who told me this sickness would not end in death?

Who told me she would with us stay?

But the truth is, I can’t stay away from him.

I’m not one for long fights.

I’d rather throw in the towel and hear his voice again.

I’m tired of the long nights.

So, I surrender the grief.

I ask for revelation and life,

“Don’t let her death be in vain!”

May this heartache no longer be strife.

~excerpt from A Mary Like Me: Flawed Yet Called

 

I Questioned God’s Goodness

When my one and only sister lost a second battle with the evil we call cancer, I was mad at God. My anger was not because of her death, which broke my heart, but I had thought I’d heard from God, and I believed with all the faith in the world that she would survive.

So, when she didn’t, either God wasn’t shooting straight with me, and he wasn’t the good God I’d always known and loved, or my discernment of the things of God was broken.

It was such an uncomfortable place to be. I had loved God since I was a little girl.

Choosing to Trust His Goodness

But one day, I got tired of being angry and feeling separated from him, and on that day, I knew I had to choose to trust in his goodness no matter what I felt.

On that day I raised my hands in praise again and danced to him.

And that is when it happened.

That’s the moment the oozing pain of grief no longer seeped from the wound in my heart. That’s when I knew he had seared the wound closed with his love. It didn’t hurt, but I picture it like a soldering iron searing the wound shut. Maybe that day I experienced Zephaniah 3:17:

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; he will quiet you with his love; he will rejoice over you with singing” Zephaniah 3:17

Marked by God’s Goodness

The Hebrew word translated as “quiet” is charash: to scratch, to engrave . . . to quiet and keep silent. I think it strange to think of God “quieting” us with his love though many times I have gone to him throwing a temper tantrum or wailing. But what if the writer’s intentions were to say that God’s love and goodness is engraved on our hearts. It marks us.

The day I surrendered my grief and anger and chose to trust his goodness and worship again, he marked my heart when he seared the wound. I’m marked by The Healing, Good God.

I’ve experienced the truth in Isaiah 61. He bound up my broken heart . . . comforted my mourning soul . . . and gave me a garment of praise to wear in exchange for the spirit of despair.

God uses all things for good. (Romans 8:28)

He used that terrible experience to help me realize how important it is for His goodness to be our faith foundation. If we don’t believe he is good, we’re goners. We won’t keep our faith.

I heard a preacher say, “We’re either running toward God or away from him. There’s no camping out in the middle.”

I think he’s right.

Tangible Goodness

Believing His Goodness in the Word

We don’t have to blindly believe God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit are good, because we have scriptures to prove it as well as testimonies of his hand in our lives.

It’s easy to trust his goodness when things are good, but it can be difficult when life is falling apart, and that is why knowing the scriptures about his goodness is important. Our feelings are fickle. Life is full of surprises and ups and downs, but The Word of God is constant.

Fruit of the Spirit of Goodness

We’re in the middle of a series studying the Fruit of the Spirit. We’ve studied love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and now goodness. As I researched for this week’s post, it became clear to me that the fruit of the Spirit is God Himself. He is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness. All these character traits originate with Him. And we can’t really overflow with these qualities unless we believe in the absolute truth of them–that they are His DNA. Out of that DNA overflows those qualities into our spirits as we relinquish anger and questions, and trust His goodness.

In Galatians 5:22 the word translated as goodness is Agathosyne. It’s an interesting word, because it doesn’t mean warm fuzzies and unicorns.

Agathosyne does not spare sharpness and rebuke in bringing about the good, whereas chestotes (kindness) demonstrates softness and tenderness. Being filled with Agathosyne and knowledge enables one to counsel . . . it is the source of goodwill, good purpose, pleasing desire or inclination.) Good intentions arise from and are prompted by the moral quality of goodness . . . (Key-Word NIV)

31 Scriptures on the Goodness of God

Bible Reading Plan On Goodness

The image above with the list of scriptures can be printed off to be used to help guide your Bible reading for the month of July, but I also have a printable made with the verses printed out, prompts to help you linger in the word, and lines to journal your thoughts. Here’s an example of three days:

Day 1. Psalm 34:5-8

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

  • We can’t experience His goodness if we don’t look to Him and trust Him. Moses’s face was shiny after spending time in His Presence. Linger a little longer today with the Lord and write a prayer of praise and worship for His goodness specifically claiming His good qualities.

Day 2. Psalm 119:68

You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.

  • Read this out loud today. Memorize it or write it down and take it with you everywhere you go. Make this your response to everything that happens good or bad today.

Day 3. Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.

  • There it is again, the importance of trust. Like the father who begged Jesus, “I do believe; help my unbelief!” write an honest prayer for greater trust of the goodness of God.

He is good. Let His goodness flow through you. Remember that inside goodness is wisdom. Read the definition again for Agathosyne. It’s not always fluffy, but it is always good.

Digging Deep in His goodness,

Andy

PS. If this was encouraging, and you don’t want to miss any Bite of Bread reading plans and posts, subscribe today! You’ll receive a 22-Day Devotion on Psalm 119 called Finding the Beauty {Full} in God’s Word.Just click here to dig deep to live fully. 🙂 

P.S.S. This is part of a series on the Fruit of the Spirit. Read the articles on love, joy, peace, patience , and kindness if you missed them!

3 Comments

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