Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 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. 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 1:16–18, ESV)
“Hath God said…” (Genesis 3:1)
With those words, Satan tested out what has become one of his most effective ploys — arousing doubt in the goodness of God. When we are at our lowest, feeling besieged by life, little wisps of discontent and suspicion slip into our mind. “If God loves me, why would he allow this?” “Why does it seem like nothing ever goes right for me?” “No wonder he’s so happy, have you seen the size of his house?”
It is imperative to our spiritual health that we believe and become fully convinced of what James says in verse 16: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights … How many gifts? All…every…the complete package. Who are they from? They are from God. He has given you all things that you need for a life of godly living, joy and contentment (2 Peter 1:3). He has withheld nothing. Satan has made it top priority to get you not to believe what you just read. He wants you to believe that God likes your neighbor better than you. He wants you to believe God is out to make you pay for sins you’ve already been forgiven of. He wants you to believe that God is out to get you or that he is withholding the best blessings for the “super-spiritual” Christians.
Being with universe’s best Father, God loves to give very good gifts to his children. This verse is not about material gifts, it is about something much better. God has promised to take care of our physical needs (Matthew 5:25-34) but here in James he promises to take care of our spiritual ones. He has promised to equip us to face everything that comes our way because he is good and he delights in caring for his own.
May we sing with the psalmist:
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:8–10, NLT)