Blessings Not Burdens

December 31, 2019

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” - James 1:17

Take a few moments to ponder all of the good things in your life. Think about the people that you love and the people who love you. Think about the meals that you eat and the clothes that you wear. Think back on your most treasured memories and experiences. All of these, the Bible says, are from the Lord.

It is so easy to get bogged down by the negative. The days are busy and stressful. There are countless decisions to be made and responsibilities to be upheld. Even many of the blessings you just recounted carry with them distractions and headaches, struggles and frustrations. The homes we live in must be maintained, which requires money and work. The children we cherish often test our patience through disobedience and disrespect. The gift of marriage is hard work. The list goes on and on. It should be no surprise that we often end up viewing God’s good gifts as burdens to be carried rather than as blessings with which to honor Him.

Let me ask you this…what makes a gift good and perfect? Is it what we receive; or is it the Giver of the gift? It is God the giver that makes every gift good and perfect. Think about this…is your refrigerator full of food a gift from God? Of course it is. But what about the African widow raising seven children who has just enough to scrape by? Is the provision that sustains their lives not also a gift from God? Yes, it is. And which gift is better…the stocked refrigerator or the daily bread? They are both good and perfect because God provided them both.

That is why the last part of this verse says these good gifts come from God, “who does not change like shifting shadows.” The emphasis in this verse is not on what these good and perfect gifts are, but on whom the good and perfect Giver is – He is the only God reigning on high, the Father of light, never changing despite our different circumstances. He is our Wise Father whose gifts are always good and perfect.

The question is, are we willing to stop trying to give to ourselves, lay it all down, and open our hands in faith so that we may receive all that He longs to give?

Father, Thank You for being a good and perfect Giver. I acknowledge that everything good in my life is a gift from You. Please help me to rest in the truth that You are unchanging, my constant friend and the hand that will never let me go.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Topics: Christian Living

Bible Reference

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.