Galatians 5:22 – The fruit of the Spirit is goodness.
Goodness is the result of the righteousness of Christ established in one’s life through the goodness of God. “It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance” (Romans 2:4) KJV. The NASB says “It is the kindness of God.” Goodness and kindness are very closely related. Paul told the Church at Rome that he was convinced they were full of goodness. He related goodness to what they knew in Christ for the purpose of admonishing one another (Romans 15:14).
Taking the time to encourage others comes from “goodness.” Paul says that “the fruit of light is rooted in goodness” (Ephesians 5:9). Paul links goodness to a desire God has for the life of a believer. “To this end, we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power” (2 Thessalonians 1:11). Paul links goodness with free will: “Without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion, but of your own free will” (Philemon 1:14).
Goodness begins with God’s love toward us. Goodness continues as it becomes part of our nature through the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God is always at work to manifest the nature of Christ in every believer. He desires to see us filled and full of the goodness of God. This can only happen as we grow in our knowledge of Christ. This knowledge is not only about Him, but what He desires for us to impart to others. He has called each of us to admonish and encourage one another in our walk as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The manifestation of goodness in our daily walk is evidence that we have embraced God’s light. Two areas that reveal God’s goodness are our strong desire for goodness and how goodness flows out of our free will without any compulsion on the part of others.
Father, I thank You for Your goodness in leading me to repentance. Thank You for helping me turn from my old ways of thinking. Thank You for giving me Your supernatural way of thinking which comes from Your Holy Word. Father, help me be aware of any darkness which may still be in my life. I desire to be full of goodness and to freely encourage others to receive the goodness of God.
Galatians 5:22 – The fruit of the Spirit is kindness.
Out of patience flows kindness. Impatience always produces unkindness, whether it would be in in words or in attitude. The Lord has shown great kindness in Christ to all humanity. Throughout the Scriptures, we are reminded of God’s kindness toward His people. I love what the Psalmist wrote: “He is gracious and compassionate and righteous. It is well with the man who is gracious and lends” (Psalm 112:4-5). Kindness speaks of graciousness and compassion. It is so easy to forget the needs of others and get caught up with our own situation and circumstances. The kind person not only has a pleasant attitude, but is aware of other people’s needs, always ready to help when possible.
The Spirit of God is never harsh. At times, He may be stern in His correction, but it is always in the spirit of kindness. The Holy Spirit desires to help us control our words. Have you noticed how easy an unkind word can slip from your mouth? This is especially true with family members or people with whom we have a close relationship. Familiarity causes one to speak before we think. The apostle James provided a good understanding concerning the use of words. “Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger” (James 1:19). Again in James 1:26 we are warned that we are “deceived” if we think ourselves to be religious and do not bridle our tongues. This type of deception is a deception of the heart.
The Psalmist David experienced the kindness of God. David declared that God’s kindness is better than life itself. “Because Your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name” (Psalm 63:3-4).
Celebrate the kindness of God as David did. Meditate on His kindness. How many ways has He been gracious and compassionate toward you? How often have you not responded with kindness toward others? Will you let your lips praise Him and will you bless the God of your salvation? Will you allow Him to release His kindness through you to others as you encounter people in your daily walk? Many experience unkindness on a daily basis. Let kindness rise up in you and give another this part of God’s character through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for kindness to be developed in you all the days of your life. Share the kindness which your Heavenly Father has extended to you. Ask for His help to express kindness to others. Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth and keep the door of my lips!
Galatians 5:22 – The fruit of the Spirit is patience.
Patience is a direct result of peace. In fact, you really cannot have patience unless you’re walking in peace. We begin to see how the fruit of the Spirit is singular and cumulative. In other words, one part of the fruit leads to another.
James said, “Count it all joy when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2). True character is formed in the trenches. An older friend who is a minister was listening to a younger man talk about his own ministry experiences. The older minister was intently looking at the younger man. The young minister asked, “What are you looking at?” My friend answered, “I am looking for the scars.”
The Scriptures teach, “The testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:3). In the King James Version, endurance is translated patience. I am grateful for all the difficult times I have known in my life although, at the time, I did not like it one bit. Today, I can see how the Lord used tests beyond my strength, and wounds too deep to heal without His grace. Each trial became a new challenge to overcome, an instrument of the discipline of God’s great love. I now know each trial and wound helped to form Christ in me. I like what Paul said, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-15). In this verse, Paul captures the essence of what patience is about.
Paul was a man who knew rejection, prison, and beatings. He was misunderstood and was even left for dead. Yet, he never lost sight of the goal; he never turned back and gave up. He cried out to the Lord three times for help. After the third time, Jesus spoke to Paul and assured him that His grace was sufficient. The Lord told Paul that “His power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). Today, those words are for us as well. Determine to be a man or woman of patience. Ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you as you walk through the various trials of your faith. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you grace sufficient for each situation that comes your way.
Pray, thanking the Holy Spirit for being your helper in all things. Verbalize that you submit your weaknesses to Him. Ask Him to help you receive patience out of every trial so that His character would be manifested in your life.
Galatians 5:22 – The fruit of the Spirit is peace.
In Romans 14:17, Paul puts peace before joy, but here in Galatians he lists joy before peace. In Romans 14:17, righteousness is mentioned preceding peace. Peace comes as a result of becoming righteous in Christ Jesus. Joy flows from that peace. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he is speaking of the attributes of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit brings His joy out of His love. When that joy is experienced, supernatural peace becomes the result.
The world is constantly trying to find peace, whether individually or among the nations. The efforts are futile, if they are not predicated upon God’s righteousness. Only God’s righteousness can produce lasting peace. The Scriptures declare that “the peace of God that surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Peace is not static but dynamic in nature. The peace of God guards our hearts from the intrusion of the subtle deceptions of the enemy and allows us freedom to live freely in Christ.
A number of questions are worth considering: Do you enjoy the peace of your salvation? Do you have peace in your life that the righteousness of Christ is sufficient to cause you to be accepted in the beloved? Do you experience the peace of God guarding your heart? If you have that supernatural peace, rejoice in the Lord and give Him thanks because many people do not have what you have. Make sure you share God’s love with those you meet who do not enjoy the peace you enjoy. Give them opportunity to receive and experience the peace you have received.
If you do not have the peace of which the Scriptures speak, that can change today. Invite the Holy Spirit to show you what you must do to receive the peace of God’s kingdom. Wait upon Him for His counsel. Give up whatever He shows you and receive what He desires to give you.
Father, I thank You for Your peace that is available to me in the Holy Spirit. Teach me how to daily enter into Your peace that surpasses all comprehension and guards my heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Help me to be able to lead others to that peace.
Galatians 5:22 – The fruit of the Spirit is joy.
Joy follows love. When we have experienced the love of God and His love begins to take root in our inner man, the natural outflow is joy. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). His joy is promised to all those who serve Him as Lord. “Enter into the joy of your Master” (Matthew 25:23). Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica, reminding them, “You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6). After David had sinned greatly and sought the Lord with a heart of repentance, his one request was “Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit” (Psalm 51:12). When God’s salvation and rule over the whole earth is finally established, His rule becomes the “joy of the whole earth” (Psalm 48:2). The Psalmist is exalting the Lord and declaring His ultimate purpose.
It is joy that attracts others to the believer who has truly embraced God’s love. The work of the Holy Spirit becomes manifest in a believer’s life when righteousness and peace are established. Joy comes from these two works of the Spirit (Romans 14:17). Joy is not external, but flows from the innermost being of a person. It is part of what Jesus is saying when He declared, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37-38). Although the word joy is not used here, it is there by implication as one reads the references from which Jesus drew His teaching. The literal translation reads “let him keep coming to Me, and let him keep drinking.” It does not take much to lose one’s joy, so we must keep coming to Jesus through the Holy Spirit and keep drinking of this spiritual water that only He can supply.
The joy of the Lord is a supernatural joy and not the happiness that the world promises. Earthly happiness fades ever so easily, but the Lord supplies a continual reservoir of His joy. If you need to repent for anything, do it now. Ask for the righteousness of Christ to rule in you, receive His peace and let the joy that is in the Holy Spirit flow from your life.
Today, why not take a deep drink of the Holy Spirit? Allow Him to establish you in His righteousness and then let the peace of Christ rule in your heart. The result will be to be strengthened in the joy of the Lord! Ask the Holy Spirit for His joy.
Galatians 5:16 – I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
Walking by the Spirit is our great challenge! Our human tendency is to trust in our humanness. Our human nature is made up of our natural senses and our human reasoning, which some call common sense. Paul teaches us that “a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him” (1 Corinthians 2:14). The natural creation is always battling with the spiritual creation. Daily, we must ask the Holy Spirit for His help. The Lord Jesus called the Holy Spirit “the Helper.” Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16). God answered His Son’s request when the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost.
A mistake that many believers make is to assume that all the promises of God are automatic. They are not! He has given us His promises, but He wants us to seek Him for their manifestation in our lives. This truth is no different concerning the Helper. We must ask for His help. Do not assume that the Holy Spirit’s help will automatically be there. He desires us to develop a relationship with Him.
Daily, and many times throughout the day, ask the Holy Spirit for His help. We do not have to be limited to our natural senses, but can receive supernatural help by simply learning to ask the Helper. He has helped me many times by solving problems that were beyond my scope of understanding. Nurture a consistent discipline of asking for the Spirit’s help day or night. In your devotions, do not neglect asking His help. Give Him first place in all of your life’s activities (Matthew 6:33).
Father, I thank You for sending the Helper. I ask forgiveness for how often I have trusted in my own reasoning and for how I have failed to invite the Holy Spirit’ help in my life. I commit myself to depend more and more on Your-ever present help in my times of need.