What Does James 1:17 Mean?

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning.

James 1:17(ASV)

Verse Thoughts

God is good, and in the beginning, He created the visible light of the sun, and the moon, and all the heavenly bodies. He gave them for warmth and heat, and to brighten our pathway on earth. He also gave them to serve as signs for festivals and for days and years. Everything He did and everything He created was good - very good, and He chose to make man in His own image and likeness and to make man His personal, representative on earth. 

It is reasonable to imagine that when man sinned.. God would rearrange His plan and install a different regent to govern His creation, but God is gracious. He is the Author of everything that is good and the Finisher of every perfect gift. The same God Who created man, chose to redeem him. The same One Who made us from the dust of the earth, designed a plan to restore the joy of our salvation - and He did this as a gift of His grace and a demonstration of His mercy.

The character of God remains the same throughout time and into eternity and He chose to make the man who failed... into a victorious Conqueror. He purposed to make us into a new creation with a new heart and to impute us with His own righteousness. He purposed to illuminate our spiritual understanding through His written Word, so it would be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path - by means of His Holy Spirit, Who would guide us into all truth.

He is the bountiful Giver of all good things and sheds on us the light of His love and purity. Despite our faults, He never fails us nor forsakes us and readily bestows on us the gifts of His goodness and grace – for every good gift and every perfect gift come to us from the Father of lights. He is our Heavenly Father, Who is the same yesterday, today and forever, and Whose goodness and grace towards the children of men, never changes.

It is because of His grace that we receive what we do not deserve and it is through His mercy that we do not recieve what we do deserve! While we were dead in sin and estranged from our Maker, He demonstrated His amazing love towards us by sending Jesus, His dearly beloved Son to be the propitiation for our sin.

There is no greater love that He could have shown than by giving His Son to die on the cross for our sin. Surely... if this good and gracious God did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, will He not with Him also freely give us all things to enjoy? And can we not trust Him to fulfil all His plans and purposes? How futile it is to doubt His word!

There are those who blame God for their problems, without realising that we are born to live in a fallen world, where self-imposed sin or the wrongdoings of others causes mischief and distress in our lives and in the lives of those we love. But although the enemy of our soul may afflict us with temptations and trials, God is good - and in His grace, He will use those trials to test our faith and develop in us spiritual endurance that brings us into a maturing faith in Him.

The One Who is the Creator of heavenly light is the same One Who is the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith – and His Word is Faithful and True. He is our God, Who will never renege on His promises nor will He default on His goodness and grace, for there is no trace of turning with Him.

He is the immutable God Who is eternally unchanging; never altering in His character; never failing in His promises and never ceasing in His goodness and love towards us - for every good gift and every perfect gift come to us from our heavenly Father of lights, in Whom there is no variation, no inconsistency and no shifting shadows, for as He proclaimed of old, "I AM the Lord and I change not".

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, in a world where all around us is change and decay, uncertainty and difficulties - how we thank and praise You that Your goodness and grace are never-changing and that You are our ever-present help in our troubled times. Even when my faith wears thin and my love grows cold I thank You dear Lord that You are my unchanging God, my unchangeable Provider and the Lover of my soul. Praise Your holy name, in Jesus' name I pray. AMEN.

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