Light and Shadow (16-17)
Remember that James wrote this as a letter so some points of our study will have multiple verses and some will have just a few like our study today in James 1:16-17
James 1:16-17 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (Prayer)
· Satan wants to tell us that God is keeping us from something good, but what is the truth?
· Is there anything good for us that God doesn’t want us to have?
· How does recognizing the goodness of God’s character help us in our fight against temptation? help you persevere under trials?
· When tempted, remember that God is good – In the middle of teaching on temptation, James interjects with statements on God’s goodness. Why? Well, Knowing God’s goodness is also a protection against sin.
· When Satan first tempted Eve he tried to make her doubt the goodness of God. He told her that God was keeping her from something good, something wonderful. According to Satan eating the fruit would help her become like God. It was God’s cruelty and selfishness which restricted her from something beneficial. She fell for it and the world fell into sin.
· The truth is that everything good comes from God. He has our good at heart. When he gives us commands and rules they are to help us, not harm us. People who reject God’s commands in pursuit of pleasure will find themselves farther and farther from joy.
· Just a parent restricts his children from indulging in candy (which tastes good but comes with bad side effects), so God restricts us from things that will harm us.
· Trusting in God and His goodness is a protection against the enticements of temptation.
· Take for example the case of two salesmen. One of them is your good friend who you know will tell the truth. You know he cares for you and truly wants to help you. The other one is a famous scam artist. But his product sounds really good and he is a fluent speaker. Who will you believe? The wise person will believe the one who is trustworthy! And James is telling us that God is trustworthy.
Another verse to read and meditate on this week : Matthew 7:11 – If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Application: Think back on your life and evaluate if there was ever a time when you doubted God’s goodness in His plans for you. Confess to Him now and reaffirm you faith that He indeed wants what is best for you.