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James

May 17, 2020 | Randy Gunter

God is Good Even in Trials

God is Good Even in Trials

13 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. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 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. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:13-18 ESV)

Whenever we focus on the loss of something temporary in this world, we often lose focus on what is eternal, including the eternal goodness of God.

Most all of us are vulnerable to struggle to see and know God’s goodness when we face loss, destruction, sickness, and death.

God is good, even though things go wrong.

We cannot doubt that God is good if we are going to trust him and walk with him in life.

God is sovereign over all things, including good and evil, but he is not the author of evil. Amid evil, suffering, sickness, and loss, God is the generous giver of wisdom, helping us to navigate the experiences in a way that we bless him ultimately for his redeeming, reconciling, and perfecting work. 

In essence, James wrote: “If you’re blaming God, don’t be deceived, God is actively giving good gifts, gifts that are perfect and complete because that is who he is.”

God reveals his goodness in his title, “Father of lights.”

God’s first creative command: “Let there be light,” and there was light.  And God saw that the light was good…. (Genesis 1:3-4 ESV)

Amid the darkness, God brings light to the world. Don’t blame him for the darkness in your life; look for his light in the dark.

The moon, stars, and planets at night remind us of the goodness of God, the Father of lights. Every time we step out into the night air and look up into the starry sky, let’s recall that 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.

God and his goodness are never altered or diminished.

There are variations and changes at every moment of our lives. How uncharacteristic of God; he is the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

If we have thought that God is mad at us, upset with us, against us, distant from us, uncaring about us, or anything similar, then we need to know this verse—every good gift and every perfect gift is from God with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

We are vulnerable to think wrongly about God when big changes come into our lives. 

When you experience those moments or seasons, spend time outside. See the casting shadows of the day and be reminded that God’s good gifts to you are being poured perfectly upon you in full measure as if it is high noon. His love and goodness for you do not change, ever. There is no variation or shadow; you are basking in his goodness at all times.

We need to look no further than our salvation to know the fullness of God’s goodness. 

Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:18 ESV)

God chose to save us and give us spiritual life through his gift of truth.

Our goodness does not save us; we are saved solely by the goodness of God.

In his goodness, God said, “Let there be light,” and light came to creation. And in his goodness, God has spoken and illuminated his word to us to save us.

Romans 10:17

John 1:1-5, 12-14, 16-17

God’s ultimate “good and perfect” gift is our salvation.

Series Information

An in-depth study of the book of James. 

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