Thursday, March 8: There is nothing deceitful in God
Relying heavily on the teachings of Jesus and especially drawing from the Sermon on the Mount, James asserts that true faith is more than an intellectual pursuit of ideas. Instead, real faith results in action. James writes a stream of wise teachings that can easily seem like a bucket of ice water in your face. Watch for the Holy Spirit to call you to take next steps in activating your faith. On this second trip through the book in this series, we'll read from The Message.
Read James 1:13-18
Don't let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, "God is trying to trip me up." God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one's way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.
So, my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.
God's nature is wholly and entirely good. Nothing in God is bad or evil. When we face a rough season of life, it's never because God is testing our faith, since he'll never do anything to harm or hurt us. Instead he's promised always to be with us when we struggle. Because everything about God is good, we can trust him to give us what we need to move through the hard times of life.
It's easier to focus on what's going wrong in our lives, versus what's going well. Either chat with a friend or journal about the good gifts God's given you recently. Spend time thanking God for the joys you've experienced—big or small.