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 1:17)
As James writes his letter, he wants us to know something important. God does not change. Our world may change around us on a constant basis, like shifting shadows under the moving sun. But God is unchanging, and he is unchangingly good. Each and every good thing that we have comes from a Father who is unchangeably good to us.
Now you might think, well there are a few things in my life that aren’t positive or pleasant or good. That is true: we are not yet perfected and so we struggle with pain and difficulty. But we are also experience the goodness of God consistently every day as well.
If you are like me, you tend to focus on the things you would like to change. The things that you would like God to take away. And that’s understandable. But we also need to focus on the things that God gives, as well as what we’d like him to take away. We can recognise and rejoice in the good things that God gives to us daily.
One example is the sun itself. James calls God ‘the Father of the heavenly lights’. What he has in mind is the sun and the moon, which light up the sky. They cause shifting shadows, but they are a gift from an unchangingly good God. Even if we struggle with pain or trouble, the sun shining down on us is a good gift from God. It makes crops grow and gives food to eat; it fuels the plants that give us air to breathe; it warms our skin and our spirits.
Perhaps next time you see the sun through your window, or step out into the sunshine outside, we could give thanks to God? We could praise him for his good gift to us? Perhaps even say to ourselves, or even out loud, “Thank you Father for the sunlight.” It might seem strange, and even get us some strange looks, but it will slowly change our hearts and our attitude.