4/11/18 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 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
“Good and perfect gifts” are often predicated by our definition of good and perfect. For someone from a country where food is very scarce, a complete meal would be considered good and perfect. For someone else, being able to order your favorite color for your next new car would be considered good and perfect. For someone that is watching their spouse of 50+ years die, just one more day to communicate and laugh would be a good and perfect gift. While for someone else, if they could just find someone to watch their children for a few hours, they would consider that to be a good and perfect gift.
Yet I would say that few of us, when we are going through the pain and difficulties of life, rarely would we say, thank you God for this “good and perfect” gift. Many of us know the Bible stories of people that became better people because of pain and suffering. Job for example, said this to God, after his extensive time of pain and suffering… “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” Job 42:5
We have heard the words of Joseph, who said to his brothers (the brothers that sold him into slavery)… “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:19-20
We know the promises… “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5
Recently I came to realize that the pain and exhaustion I had felt these past few months were a “good and perfect” gift, because in the end, it revealed that I had 95% blockage leading to my heart.
I had a good friend call me last week to check up on me to see how I was doing, not only physically but spiritually as well. Those are the kind of friends to have in your life, those that not only care about your physical health but your spiritual health. If you don’t have one, find one so that they can become a “good and perfect” gift.
As we were talking, my friend told me that he and his wife had just returned from attending a Ligonier conference where Joni Eareckson Tada had spoken. He said to me, “Brian you really need to listen to her message.” For those of you that might not be familiar with Joni, she was involved in a diving accident in 1967 that left her a quadriplegic in a wheelchair for life. Today, she is an internationally known mouth artist, a talented vocalist, a radio host, an author of 17 books and an advocate for disabled persons worldwide.
I know life is busy, and for many of us we are not looking for more to do. But if you would, I would encourage you to go to a quiet place, take the 45 minutes like I did, and listen to what is “good and perfect” from God’s perspective. It just might put what you are facing today, what you might be facing tomorrow, what you might be facing in the future, all into perspective…
Here is the link to Joni’s message… –