Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.
Satan is the world’s greatest prizefighter… the minute you let your guard down, he’ll hit you with a one-two punch. When the transmission went out on my truck, the first thought that came to my head was “Why me!” That’s the first punch. James 1:2 instructs me to take joy in my various trials but Satan tempts me with the pity party. The blow is more than I can handle and it becomes a serious setback in my relationship with God. If the first was a quick jab, punch two comes with the intensity of a right hook. Far greater than blaming God for my troubles is the damage that comes from an ungrateful heart. That’s the second punch. Blinded by the first jab, I succumb to Satan’s second blow by denying God the praise He deserves for blessing me with the means to get my truck repaired. One… two, and I’m out.
This is the lesson found in James 1:17. As a child of God, you must never allow yourself to take for granted the many blessings in your life. Furthermore, there is a supernatural peace and joy that comes over the one who continually praises God for those blessings, especially in the midst of turmoil and pain.
Everyone has something to be thankful for. Whether it’s the family you’re a part of, the country you live in, or the friends you have made, there is not one person who doesn’t owe their heavenly Father thanks for His provision. About to be burned alive at the stake, the first century pastor Polycarp was asked to denounce Christ and to hail Caesar as lord. In response, he replied, “Eighty-six years I have served Christ, and He never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?”
Regardless of how great you believe your trials are, and in spite of how few blessings you acknowledge as coming from the Lord, every child of God should be more than thankful for his or her salvation. This is the greatest gift that was ever given. It was offered to you by the light of the world, there is no variation or shifting shadow. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father. The utmost of these is your salvation.
We have no greater enemy than the one who seeks to disrupt our relationship with the Lord. One of his greatest strengths is the ability to blind us from the source of any good in our lives. I encourage you to take a look around and make a list of the blessings in your life. You may be surprised to find just how much the Lord has done for you.