‘Appreciation’ Meditations No.25: It’s all He does!
Gal 5:22“the fruit of the Spirit is … goodness.”
The more I think about ‘the goodness of God’ the more I think we take it for granted and perhaps, even worse, just DON’T appreciate it. Our starting point (in Study no.21) was simply to observe that all good gifts come from God. We went on to note that it is even manifest in the midst of bad things happening, but then went on to observe that whenever we observe it, it is God-initiated. Yesterday we reflected briefly on how it must have been observed by the disciples travelling with Jesus with the strong lesson that HE was the initiator of all the good he was doing and the disciples just ‘tagged along behind’ him.
But then there is the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit who only tends to get an ‘above the fold’ press from us when we are considering gifts of the Spirit and divinely supernatural happening as we find in the Acts of the Apostles. But ponder with me for a moment on that other area of Spirit interest if you will, fruit.
Now we normally teach and think about ‘the fruit of the Spirit’ here in our Gal 5 starter verse as characteristics of God that He will work into us by the Spirit, which is good, for we need to know that He is seeking to bring love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control into our lives. However there is something more about this list. Although goodness is one specific fruit mentioned, I would suggest that ALL of them are expressions of God’s goodness.
I have come to see that this is not only about this fruit of goodness being in me, but it is all around me, it is everything that God is working to bring into this fallen world. He does it because it is natural to Him because He is love (1 Jn 4:8,16) and He is good (Mk 10:18), so the fruit or outworking of the Spirit is always good, and He does it because He wants to bless you and me. Have we ever lost sight of that, or never fully appreciated it, I wonder? Consider an artist working in water colours. They lay down a backwash on the paper before they start bringing up the picture. I would suggest that God brings goodness to the entire backscreen (to use yet another metaphor) of our lives. Whatever is happening it happens before this backdrop. God is there and every expression of His is an expression of goodness. So, for example, the disciples were led across the Sea of Galilee to encounter two demoniacs in the area known as the Gadarenes (Mt 8:28). For the disciples it must have been a seriously unnerving experience, but here’s the point: the all-powerful bringer of goodness is with them and he is there for the express purpose of deliverance. Goodness is about to be break out in this otherwise hostile situation. Wherever you are, so is this all-powerful bringer of goodness!