James 1:17 (Goodness - Week 4)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

Recite using the acronym:

E G G A E P G I F A , C D F T F O L , W W T I N V O S D T C . JAMES 1:17


Read Full Passage HERE


Dive Deeper:


Let us pause for a moment from the busyness of our lives and the distractions that compete for our attention and meditate on the glorious truth found in this verse. Let us reflect on the nature of God that is revealed here. 


All the good in your life, anything worthy of praise or being grateful for, comes from God. There is not one good thing that you will ever know or experience that wasn’t from Him. From the things we take for granted, like your ability to breathe while you read these words, to the more noticeable gifts like holding your newly born child in your arms. In God, there is nothing that isn’t good. He is the fullness and ultimate reality of the concept of good. Anything that is not good is apart from Him and is a distortion of His character. If our understanding of good comes from Him, we should look to Him alone for goodness and praise Him for it and not anyone or anything else.


Secondly, God is the Father of lights. James wants us to consider this truth in a couple of ways. This first is supposed to be a mental picture of the stars, specifically the brightest from our perspective, being the sun. The sun shines its rays down on us with which there is no darkness found in the rays themselves. The second way of understanding the verse is this. Traditionally, light is representative of purity, wisdom, and happiness in the scriptures. So, putting these together, the Lord is the origin of all the purity, wisdom, happiness, and goodness that comes to us, and as our ultimate source of these things, there is no variation or change found in Him. God is the fountain of all light, all that is good, and He mercifully extends his beautiful qualities out to us so that we may delight in Him and experience all that we see as good. 


The beauty of the words James writes in verse 17 is magnified when you consider the verses right before it:


“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” - James 1:13-15


The pain and destruction we experience result from our own sin or the sinful nature of our fallen world. We see that we are lured and enticed by our evil desires, which bring about destruction and death. Furthermore, we experience the consequences of other people falling into the same pattern that we are stuck in. This is an important truth to think about when experiencing the world's brokenness. God allows pain for our sanctification, and God allows our sin for His own divine will. But God is not the author of sin, which brings about brokenness. We must remember this. In God, there is only goodness and holiness as He is completely unstained of evil and fallenness. 


God is love, which means anything that He hates is that which is in contrast to or destroys that which is love. His love reaches down to a broken creation as the sun spreads across the earth with its warmth at the break of dawn. So in the times we experience suffering or brokenness in the world, let us remember who our God is. He is fully good and gracious. Though the trials we experience now may be painful, they are temporary.  He is our comforter, our deliverer, our good Father, and the giver of every good thing.


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