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 firstfruits of all he created.
Life can seem like a roller coaster: full of unexpected ups and downs; and sudden twists and turns. But while amusement park rides are meant for entertainment, in real life these unpredictable changes aren’t always so welcome. Even worse, for some people, life might be more accurately compared to a mechanical bull, with random spins and jerking movements purposefully designed to throw off its rider.
So is that the case? Is the designer of your life out to get you? Could it be that when everything is going wrong, and you feel like giving up, that God himself is purposefully trying to get you to stumble and fall?
Jesus’ younger brother James wrote a very down-to-earth letter to fellow believers who struggled in their life of faith. Trials and temptations threatened their trust in God. Some even wondered if God was responsible for these stumbling blocks as if he wanted them to fall. James compared those who doubted God’s unchanging grace to waves of the sea, tossed this way and that by the winds of change in their lives.
James reminded his readers that the God who created this universe and everything in it only and always gives good gifts. Shadows shift on earth as the sun glides across the sky, and the clouds may temporarily dim its light. But the sun itself and the live-sustaining heat it emits are not diminished. So also, our heavenly Father and his eternal love for us do not change just because the world casts shade on his word. God gave his only Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Light of the world, revealing the Father’s merciful heart with his sacrifice in our place. And he gives us new life, a spiritual rebirth, through the gift of faith in his Son. That love and those gifts remain constant, even in the darkest days, even through all the twists and turns of life.
Lord God, when I am weary from all the changes of this life, keep my eyes focused on your unchanging love for me in Jesus. Amen.
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