James 1:16-18 KJV
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
James wants to make sure the church does not get this wrong. God does not tempt or test us. He only allows these events to take place to strengthen us, build our faith, prolong our patience and perfect us for His use. That is His purpose for letting us go through the hard times. He only gives us good things!
I could decide to list all the good things God gives, but then we would be here for many years sorting out the list and as you sort it out, I would still be listing things that he gives me that are beyond good – they are wonderful! They are more than we deserve! He is such a good Father! I guess we will just take a few moments to talk about some of the things that pop into the top of my head.
I will start with the air I breath. This is given by God to give everything on earth life. Without it, we would all collapse. Then there is God’s wonderful design of this earth and the way life is sustained. All animals, both great and small, breathes in oxygen and breathes out carbon dioxide. All plant life breathes in carbon dioxide and breathes out oxygen. It’s an amazing system of checks and balances that keeps the earth going. Then there is the watering cycle. Water evaporates from the oceans, forms clouds and storms, and it rains on the dry land, running down the streams back into the ocean. Amazing!
Next, I have to think about the heavens. The sun, moon and stars, all gifts from God. There beauty and majesty are beyond compare. Then the gifts He gives us every morning and evening – the most magnificent paintings eyes can ever behold. When I see a glorious sunset or sunrise, I weep for their beauty! What wonderful gifts these are.
You were probably thinking I was going to talk about things a little closer to home, weren’t you? Like the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. These are gifts that He gives us to help us through any trouble and any trial that we might face – He is so awesome! Or there are the gifts of the Spirit: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues. These are gifts that help the church to function properly and to help us grow in faith.
The last two I will mention are mercy and grace. Where would we be without those two gifts. Grace gives us the blessing of God, mercy keeps us pure before His eyes. Without either one, we would all face hell’s destruction. But God has given them freely to us, and for that I give my life back to Him.
The truth about all these gifts is that God will never turn away from them. There is no variableness with God. He has given these for all of us to partake of. From the richest to the poorest, the tallest to the thinnest, all colors, races and languages can benefit from these gifts and so many more. He will never turn His back on us – no shadow will He cast across our paths. He is always there, ready to hear our prayers and desiring to have an intimate conversation with us.
Last of all, He gives His word, the Bible: Basic Instructions before Leaving Earth! He gives us this word so we can learn about Him and His ways, and become like Him. So we can become holy as he is holy (1 Peter:1:16), so we can be perfect as He is perfect (Matt 5:48). If we learn to adopt what He says in His word, we can walk blameless. It will take diligence and perseverance on our part, but God says we can do it, and I will believe Him every time. His word is our guide to all of His riches and the wonderful gifts He has for us.
Do you know all the promises He has given to you? I suggest you spend time in His word every day, studying out the promises of God. If you’re really ambitious, write them down as you go. There are thousands contained in His word. He will keep them all because He is faithful. All of them require we follow Him with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength. That is well worth it, as far as I am concerned!