God Is Only Good! (The James Series)

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Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.  James 1:16-18

God is Good!  There is no doubt that you’ve heard that before and even said it before. Come on say it with me, “God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.”  It’s one of our Christian platitudes, but do you really believe it?  Do you really know that God is good—that He is only good! 

In this passage of scripture, James declares God’s goodness.  Right after telling us that God does not tempt anyone, but that we are tempted when we are drawn away by our own desires.  James tells us “every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights”. All that God has given us is good and complete.  It is what we need even if it is not what we want.  He knows what is best for us and is always working in our favor.   In light of this, James warns us—Don’t be deceived! 

Why does James start this passage with “Don’t be deceived”? Because, far too often we are just that, deceived. The enemy would love to deceive us and have us believe that God is not simply good.  The enemy would have us believe that God is mad with us, or that the trials we face are designed by the Lord to destroy us for our disobedience. The enemy does not want us to know the goodness of our Lord.  Instead, he wouldn’t want anything more than to have you view God as an arbitrary being rather than a loving Father.  

What about when we’ve done wrong?  Been disobedient? Stepped outside of God’s will?  

Even when chastening is necessary, God is good to us and has good for us.  This is because He is wholly consistent.   James explains to us that God“does not change like shifting shadows.”  The NKJV says there is no variation or shadow of turning.  

The word variation comes from the Greek work parallagē which is the same word as fickleness.  God is not fickle as are we. He is faithful and consistent in every word, thought, and action.  Even when we are not!  

Look at what God spoke, through the prophet Jeremiah to a disobedient people who were in captivity because of their behavior:  

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

The NKJV rendering says it like this, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

His thoughts toward a disobedient people was not evil, they were thoughts of peace.  They were being chastened, but they were still His people. A people who were still chosen, loved, and accepted.  A people with a future and hope.   Our good God only has good for His people. 

Verse 18 tells us He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.  

He chose us!  What a refreshing truth that we find in many places in scripture.  But what were we chosen for?  We were not chosen just to exist.  We were not chosen just to enjoy all that He created. We were chosen for a purpose. James tells that we were chosen to be a kind of firstfruits of all creation.  Sounds like an important job, doesn’t it? Well it is!  We were called to be the firstfruits—the first partakers of this glorious goodness of the Lord.  But not just partake in His goodness, but to show that goodness to the world.  It’s part of our purpose to show the world that God is good.  As Matthew 5:16 says, Let your light shine that men may see your good works and glorify the Father which is in heaven.  

Don’t forget the context in which James is saying this.  He is talking about trials.  Here, James is gently reminding us, In the midst of your trials, don’t forget God’s goodness.  

This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

As a matter of fact, confess that with me! God is good. God is only good. God is always good.  

You have to confess it! You have to believe it! Especially when you don’t feel it. Especially when you don’t see it. 

Oh! Let me tell you, If you confess it when you don’t feel it-you will began to feel it.

Let me tell you, if you confess it when you don’t see it-you will see it.  

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