An Inexhaustible Fountain of Goodness

Our generous God uses everything, even the hard things, to remake his people in His image

“From the abundance of his generosity, God grows mushrooms to feed squirrels and saplings to feed deer. He provides earthworms for robins and mice for foxes. The greens I grow in my garden come from his goodness, too.”

 

The LORD is good to all,
 and his mercy is over all that he has made.
The eyes of all look to you,
 and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand;
 you satisfy the desire of every living thing.

The eighteenth century English Baptist pastor John Gill described God’s goodness as “an inexhaustible fountain” overflowing forever even as he continually shares his goodness with the living things he has made. In John Gill’s time, city fountains didn’t recirculate their water like the fountains we have now. They drew their water from a reservoir or some natural springs, and provided it to the people who lived around them. Fountains were a source fresh, clean water for drinking and washing. God’s inexhaustible fountain of goodness is this kind of fountain—one that constantly provides us with fresh goodness. But with his fountain of goodness, there is no danger the reservoir will run dry or the springs will dry up. He has an infinite, eternal supply of fresh goodness. There is no limit to his kindness and no end to his generosity, but his goodness flows from him forever in a never-ending stream.

From the abundance of his generosity, God grows mushrooms to feed squirrels and saplings to feed deer. He provides earthworms for robins and mice for foxes. The greens I grow in my garden come from his goodness, too. He could have created only one kind of salad green, or none at all, but instead, he created crispy romaine, buttery spinach, chewy kale, spicy arugula, and red leaf lettuce for extra visual punch, each variety increasing my pleasure as I eat my salads. Vegetables, fruits, grains, and meats—every different kind is a good gift from our good God.

Sustaining Us and Giving Us Joy

God directs everything in the universe, so every benefit we receive—every “good gift”—comes from him (James 1:17). Beyond our food, homes, and families, he gives us jobs, friends, vacations, sunshine, music, colours, and even the air we breathe. Everything that sustains us and everything that gives us joy—all are God’s gifts to us. Even when other people give to us, underneath their gifts is the goodness of God. He gave them enough to share (1 Corinthians 4:7) and the desire to share with us.

God is generous to everyone, even those who don’t acknowledge him or his gifts. “[H]e is kind to the ungrateful and evil,” Jesus said (Luke 6:35). “[H]e makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:44-45). Even God’s enemies receive good gifts from him.

But for those who belong to him, God’s generosity continues throughout eternity. Even in this life, every single circumstance is a good gift working an eternal purpose. All things, including life’s trials, are part of God’s benevolent plan to make believers more like Christ (Romans 8:28-29). Can you see why the apostle Paul reminds his readers to be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18)? Our generous God uses everything, even the hard things, to remake his people in his image.

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