all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. James 1:17 NABRE
James is writing to the twelve tribes of Israel in dispersion. He opens the letter speaking about the value of trials and temptation. By being tested our faith can produce perseverance. James exhorts the reader to ask God for wisdom, knowing we can receive anything from the Lord. James goes on to say, no one experiencing temptation should say they are being tempted by God, God is not subject to temptation to evil and tempts no one. Rather temptation comes from our own desires. We are lured by our own weaknesses and desires. We do not need to be deceived, all good giving and every perfect gift is from God. God who is the Father of lights, a saying difficult to understand. But I like to think James refers to God this way as a reference to Jesus the Light of the World. God sent down his Son, light of the world to show us how to live defeating temptation and to demonstrate His love for us. Of course James continues to say, there is no change in God. The light God spreads allows us to see all good and gracious things available to us as first fruits of God’s creatures. We are the best that God has birthed and most loved of all there is in God’s created world.
We may be fooled into thinking God test us, but James is telling us this is never true. We are tested, but it is through our own nature that desires the immediate over the ultimate, pleasure over fulfillment, things over people, images over intimacy and experience over exclusivity. This is sin making promises that sin can’t keep. We must persevere over temptation and receive every perfect gift from above.
Are you able to defeat temptation? Do you use trials to grow in perfection?We may be fooled into thinking God test us, but James is telling us this is never true. We are tested, but it is through our own nature. Click To Tweet
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