‘Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.’ James 1:16-18 NIV
Today, if you will humor me, I just want to look at the simplicity of these verses.
Every good and perfect gift is from above…how often do we try to chalk things up to coincidence, or attach some other ‘thing’ to it…when clearly, plainly – the things we experience, the things gifted to us are from Him; simply from Him…for us.
Our Father in heaven – does not change like shifting shadows…how often do we humanize God? There are countless people…most people I would dare say…that we encounter who, in time seem to change like a shifting shadow. Their expectations don’t get met. They get bored or uncomfortable. We begin to go in a direction that they don’t desire to go in. They say one thing, but do another. Their behavior completely changes like shifting shadows…and whether intentionally or not, we begin to think that God operates in much the same way. ‘Sure he’s giving us something good now, but it won’t last. He’ll go away; He’ll take it away; He’ll expect something I can’t give,’ and the list goes on.
The word of truth…the Bible we hold in our hands, scroll through on our phones, study in moments of quiet, look to in moments of desperation, sing to in times of worship – His Word, His Scripture…is truth.
Why is it so easy for us to discount what the Lord is doing? Why is so easy to think less of Him than we should? When He allows something good in our life, why do we quietly wait for ‘the catch’ or for the bottom to just suddenly fall out. Why do we sing of how great His love is, but when we are at our worst, feel He could never really love us. Why can be believe some aspects of the Bible (he was born of a virgin, he died on a cross, he rose again), but we question when it says that he takes great delight in us. I don’t know about you , but when I’m at my lowest…when the trials are most painful and the temptations are great…my ‘go to’ question can tend to be ‘God, where are you?’ Today I want to take one of His most precious gifts, His Word, His truth, and see that when He says He does not change like shifting shadows – He backs that truth up again and again. He means what He says. You may be tempted to skip through these…but I challenge you to read each one and allow the truth, the promise and the hope to resonate within you.
He never changes…He is from everlasting to everlasting…
- Malachi 3:6 – I the Lord do not change.
- Psalm 90:1-2 – Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
- Nehemiah 9:5b – Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise.
- Isaiah 40:28 – Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He is eternal…forever…lasting from generation to generation…
- Jeremiah 10:10 – But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King.
- Daniel 6:26 – I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and
reverence the God of Daniel. ‘For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.’
- Lamentations 5:19 – You, LORD, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation.
- Matthew 24:35 – Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
- 2 Corinthians 4:18 – So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
- Psalm 100:5 – For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
He is the I AM…yesterday, today, forever…
- Exodus 3:14a – ‘God said to Moses, ‘I AM who I AM.’
- Revelation 1:8 – ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’
- Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
- Psalm 102:25-27 – In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.
He is our rock…our firm foundation…
- Psalm 18:2 – The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
- Deuteronomy 32:4 – He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
- Psalm 40:2 – He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
- Colossians 1:17 – He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
- 2 Timothy 2:19 – Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, ‘Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.’
He never fails…He never leaves
- Luke 1:37 – For no word from God will ever fail.
- Isaiah 14:24 – The LORD Almighty has sworn, ‘Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.’
- Matthew 28:20b – And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
- Hebrews 13:5b – Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
- Psalm 23:4 – Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
- Isaiah 43:2-3a – When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God.
How often the enemy tries to deceive and tell us something so different from what you see above. How awesome that this list does not even skim the surface of what scripture says about the unending, consistent, solid, powerful, and eternal God that we love and who loves us! What a beautiful reminder of a wonderful God who’s crazy about someone like me…like you. Hoping you are soaking Him in today!
My prayer for Today…
My precious Savior, how I love you. Lord, you have brought me through some exceedingly difficult times. Challenges and changes that I could never have envisioned have quickly and quietly snuck in and out over few years. And Lord, while in my head I know you say you love me and that you will be my refuge, my strength, one that will not leave me – how many times have I questioned – where are you? How patient you are with me. Thank you for the gift of your Word. What I read in one place, you back up in another. What I question, you confirm again and again. I have seen, even just this week, people who operate like shifting shadows. I’ve seen hypocrisy at it’s finest. May I not take those experiences that I’ve witnessed and presume that you would dare operate in the same fashion. What you say – you do. What you promise – you fulfill. No shifting. Nothing hidden in the shadows. You are who you say are. You do what you say you will do. Help me to continue to remember that as truth! What greater reason to find joy! To my friend reading with me today – in the good times or bad, may they hold to the truth of your word. May they find rest in you, hope in your word, joy in your truth. When they don’t have answers, may they look to your Word. When they are discouraged or down, may they trust that they can hide themselves in you. Where even in the shadows you stand strong. Thank you Lord. In Jesus’ sweet name – Amen!