Fruit #6: Goodness

by Carolyn Hope

Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)

The nature of goodness is harder to understand than some of the other fruits we’ve observed; the reason for this is that we use the term ‘good’ for just about anything. When someone asks us how our vacation was, we say, ‘good.’ When asked how a person is doing or feeling, the most common response is ‘good.’ We are good people who watch good movies, eat good food, and have good days at work.

The Hebrew word for ‘good’ in this passage, and in general, is ‘tuv.’ According to Strong’s Lexicon, it means “good in the widest sense” and can also mean “beauty, gladness, [or] welfare.”

The greatest goodness is God Himself. Exodus 33 recounts an example of this: “The Lord replied to Moses, ‘I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.’ Moses responded, ‘Then show me your glorious presence.’ The Lord replied, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh …’” (verses 17-19). Our Lord walks in goodness, speaks in goodness, and brings His goodness everywhere He goes.

My encouragement to you in growing in goodness is to pursue knowing God. The more you know Him, the more you’ll behave like Him; and as you become more like God, you will be full of goodness. Another way to achieve this is to study the Word. See what it says is good, and then do those things. Creativity is good (see Genesis 1). Companionship is good (see Genesis 2:18). Compassion is good (see Psalm 145:9 and Isaiah 63:7). As you follow after Christ, you will grow in goodness.

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Silent Seasons

by Carolyn Hope

But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. (Matthew 6:17-18)

A silent season is when you’re working, and growing, and doing what God calls you to do, but you aren’t recognized. You don’t receive praise for your work. Those around you either don’t see what you do, or they don’t acknowledge it. Sometimes, in these seasons, God becomes quieter as well. You wonder, “Does anyone see me? Does anyone know I’m here? Am I really making a difference?”

The season of silence is one of the hardest. It forces you to decide if you will work without recognition and still be content. It teaches you humility, which is often a painful lesson to learn. Silent seasons, though distressing, bring some of the deepest fruit.

Be assured that God always sees you, even when it doesn’t seem like it. He sees what others don’t. He knows all the heart and effort you put into your work. God is faithful, and He will be no man’s debtor; if you give of yourself to Him, He will give back to you. Don’t stop serving because you feel unappreciated or underestimated. You may be hidden from people right now, but you’re never hidden from God. He will reward you for your sacrifice.

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