Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

When you look at your life, what are the good gifts you are most grateful to God for? It is right, good, and obedient to stop and recognize the gifts we have been given—big and small.

James reminded believers to do just that—to rightly acknowledge and remember that which comes from God. This does not include temptation, the brokenness we see around us, or our sin. The source of all joy and all goodness is God alone. He is the Father of lights, which means nothing of darkness comes at His hand. If there is any hope for goodness in our lives, it will only be from God. We have no ability to provide our own goodness in this life. We can’t earn it, build it, or buy it. We have no good apart from God Himself (Ps. 16:2).

Ultimately, everything we are and everything we have is from God. Because He holds everything that is good, He gets to define true goodness. Only He knows when withholding is the “good” we need more than receiving what we want. Only He knows when failure is the “good” we need more than success. Only He knows when waiting is the “good” we need more than immediate satisfaction. As His children, we are called to trust that He knows what is good far more than we do.

● How has God refined your view of what is good in your life? How have you had to trust Him for good, even when you couldn’t see it?

● How are you tempted to provide your own good gifts or take credit for that which God has given?

● Spend time in prayer acknowledging God for being the beginning of all that is good, and for the good that He has provided you.