Let’s look at Ephesians 1:3-14 and see what it has to say about God’s goodness
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us[b] for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known[c] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee[d] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,[e] to the praise of his glory. (Eph 1:3-14)
First, let’s look at the big picture of what God is up to. Apart from time people were chosen to be in relationship with God, before the earth as we know it existed. People are created in the image of God and were chosen in Christ before their physical bodies existed. Through Jesus all people are invited into this relationship. This is something good!
People who are in Christ are one with him. To be in Christ is to be part of every blessing of Christ. God’s goodness invites us into relationship with him. Followers of Christ dwell in the relationship of the Trinity right now. “Christ dwells for ever in the infinite love of God, and as we are in Christ, the love of God for Christ is in a wonderful manner ours.’” God’s goodness is expressed in love for people. Through the act of creation and inviting people into relationship, God is up to something good!
Even before the fall of people in the garden of Eden and sin, people were predestined to be adopted into God’s family. Adoption into God’s family is made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection. Because of Jesus sins can be forgiven through him. This plan and process of redemption and salvation is part of the mystery of God. But we may ask, what exactly is this mystery? “For Paul, the essential mystery was the way in which God through Christ brings men and women back into fellowship with himself. More than that, it is the way in which he brings into a restored unity the whole universe that has been disordered by human rebellion and sin.”
On a large-scale Jesus is bringing restoration and unity to the whole of creation. As people understand God’s purpose, they are not blind and aimless followers, but become participants in his good work of redemption and restoration right now.
- God’s goodness is present in the neighbour shoveling a driveway for a disabled senior.
- God’s goodness is seen in the generosity of a business owner
- God’s goodness is revealed when an immigrant family is loved and adopted into their new country
- God’s goodness is seen when a life is transformed through the Holy Spirit
We’ve looked at the big picture and hopefully we’ve seen a little bit of the mystery and wonder of God’s Good plan. Basing our concept of God only on observable circumstances will lead to an artificially small concept of God. We must base our concept of God on both observable circumstances and spiritual realities. Knowing the blessings and promises that God offers to all people and that followers of Jesus possess, as we have read in this passage, illuminates our view of God’s goodness. If God is good, the Christian life should be one of joy. “Joy is not pleasure, a mere sensation, but a pervasive and constant sense of well-being. Hope in the goodness of God is joy's indispensable support.” With God, what is promised, will be.
In God people are chosen before the creation of the world, they have redemption, salvation, knowledge of the meaning and propose of life, abundant life now and the guarantee of inheritance in the kingdom of heaven. His plans and purposes according to these promises are being worked out every day in people’s lives. Hope in God, look for his goodness, and you may just see that God is up to something good.
 Foulkes, F. (1989). Ephesians: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 10, p. 57). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
 Foulkes, F. (1989). Ephesians: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 10, p. 60). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
 Foulkes, F. (1989). Ephesians: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 10, p. 64). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
 Dallas Willard http://www.dwillard.org/articles/individual/personal-soul-care