New Service Times

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Good Gifts That Don’t Always Feel Good

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change (James 1:16-17).

Have you ever been told to take your medicine? Cold medicine can taste really gross but you knew that it would help you feel much better. Sometimes people say “take your medicine!” as a way of saying that doing something hard now will help for things to be better in the future. If you want to feel better you have to take your medicine. If you want to lose weight you have to stop watching so much TV, eat right, and exercise. If you want to have great relationships, sometime you have to do hard things like apologize.

James is saying something similar here. Remember that the context of these verses is his
discussion of how suffering produces godly character in his people (Parents: you may want to review the opening verses of the chapter with your children.). But sometimes, like taking our medicine, it’s not very fun. And sometimes, we are tempted to believe that God doesn’t love us when we suffer in life. That’s why we’re told to “not be deceived”. The hard times that God brings into our lives are really good gifts that help us grow in godliness, and to me more like Jesus.

God will only give us good things, and we can trust him that he knows best, even when things
are hard. When we don’t believe that, James tells us we’re deceived..

Read 2 Cor. 12:10
• Why could Paul say that he is content in this verse?
• Why does weakness bring strength for Paul?
• Is there something you are going through right now that God is using to form your character?

Our Father, help us to trust your plan for our lives. Help us to want you and your mission more than we want to be comfortable. We know that you love us and will give us what we need as a loving Father gives his children what they need. In Jesus’ name, Amen.