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.
(James 1:16-17 NIV)
How many times have you heard a well-intentioned person claim that something is the will of God when the evidence pointed in the opposite direction? I have heard it countless times. But I love the solution that James provides in his letter. He tells his readers that they shouldn’t be deceived because it’s easy to tell when something is or isn’t from God. As the giver of all that is good and perfect, the Father only has the best in store for us. So if God isn’t responsible for our misery, who is? Listen to James’ response. “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death”’ (James 1:13-15). In other words, we’re responsible for our choices and we have to accept the consequences of our actions. Whenever we make bad choices in life and suffer the consequences, we have no one to blame but ourselves. However, the good news is that even when we mess up, we can still seek forgiveness and once again rediscover every good and perfect gift from the Father whose plans are to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
As the giver of every good and perfect gift, God only has the best in store for us.