Every good thing given and every perfect gift is a from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow
God gives good gifts and wants to…
God is not setting you up to fail but to succeed. He drops good things into your life. Get in the habit of looking every day for the good gifts of God that He is dropping into your life. It is strange that we often see the obstacles that God puts in our life and do not recognize them for the good they are doing. God also will move us in a direction that is a wonderful good, but we see it as difficult or even wrong for us because we are enamored with our old path.
The important thing is to recognize the difference between God’s good gifts and the world’s tempting gifts. Realize that God is giving good gifts to us every day. His gifts are righteous. His gifts allow us to love others more effectively. His gifts maximize who we are. His gifts are not bait and switch. The world and the Devil’s false good gifts require going beyond morality to embrace. They focus on our pleasures and desires rather than others’ benefits. They are always bait and switch, in that what is promised is less than what is delivered.
This verse immediately follows an extensive section on temptation, lust, and sin. The apostle is trying to get us not to be led astray following the baited hook of what looks good but is immoral and wicked. He even says right before this verse on the good gifts that God gives, “do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.” So he is making a direct contrast between the seemingly good gifts of temptation and the really good gifts of God.
good: This is the Greek word agathos which means good, beneficial, pleasant, agreeable, joyful. Clearly the Apostle James was watching people be deceived into following the deceptive good of temptation and ignoring the real good of God. They were not alert to the nature of God and His constant attention to send good things into our lives. They were caught up in the false values of the world around them and were being led astray to pursue sex without commitment, money without work, power without boundaries.
Keep telling yourself every day: God is sending good things to me. Be alert because God’s goodness is all around. Embrace the goodness of God rather than the seeming goodness of temptation.
Keep track of the good things that have come your way each week so that you can remember them and not take God’s goodness for granted.
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.