Read: James 1:13-18

Like so many posts in recent weeks, this one has been a long-time in coming. It has nothing to do with an overloaded schedule or the lack of good topics. [After all, I have elected to reflect on what the Bible is saying rather than thoughts from my personal experiences.] The problem is that I have been distracted, like so many people, by…LIFE! There is always some news item about unemployment, businesses closing their doors, or people who succumb to debilitating diseases. I learn of these events and find that my reflections on the Word are interrupted by the proverbial “why.” Why is there so much trouble in life? Why do seemingly good people have to struggle? Why doesn't God intervene? 

One of the problems with so many “why’s” is that our flesh and the commentaries of the evil one may lead to wrong conclusions about God. It is an age-old problem—one where philosophers and theologians have pondered whether God is ultimately the author of temptation and evil. Is that possible? Could the God who created all things also be the author of what we identify as “bad”? If you haven’t already done so, read our text one more time.

James had been reminding his original readers that God never wastes the events of our lives. He uses everything, including our trials, to make us more and more like the Savior (JS 1:2-8; ROM 8:28-29). God also promises those facing economic poverty that there will one day be a “great reversal,” when Christ’s faithful followers will be blessed with the “crown of life” (JS 1:9-12). And with those facts before us, James anticipates what some people might conclude, namely that God is the author of evil. The reasoning goes something like this: “If God uses trials to transform us, and if He even allows His beloved followers to be poor in this life, then MAYBE (just maybe) God is also sending temptations into my life. And if I do something sinful in my despair, I’ll just blame God!” But the inspired author of our text quickly dismisses such foolish speculation. 

He reminds us that it is impossible for God to be tempted by evil, and HE DOES NOT TEMPT ANYONE! (JS 1:13) His character is void of any hint of impurity or sin. 

He also reminds the reader that sin ultimately comes from our own deception, where we give into temptation, and temptation ultimately leads to spiritual death. (JS 1:14-15) 

And to settle the matter once and for all, James tells us that God is the One who provides us with what we call “good.” In fact, He is always good—ALWAYS! We know that because He is described as “the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning” (JS 1:17 HCSB). Or to put it another way, “God is CONTINUALLY good, and He will never change in being 100% perfect!” Whatever He does for us, OR whatever He allows is always GOOD! 

After reading these six verses, there is only one conclusion we can make: SINCE GOD IS ALWAYS GOOD, WE MUST STOP BLAMING HIM AS THE AUTHOR OF EVIL 

OK, that’s all well in good, but have you ever thought about when we fall into the trap of blaming God for the bad things—the evil things—in our lives? It’s surely not when life is going well—when the paychecks come and our bodies are healthy. No, it’s when life seems filled with trials and disappointments. It’s when we sing our Sunday songs, proclaiming the majesty of God, only to head into Monday with more problems than we can handle on our own. Yes, we tend to blame God for all the “bad around us” when life isn't going as we expected.

So what should we do? What CAN we do?

How about announcing our own, individual “declaration of dependence.” Yes, a declaration of dependence on the God who is good in all that He does. James says, “Don’t be deceived!” But how? 

First, declare that everything you call “good” in your life (your spouse, your children, your faith, and thousands of other things) has come from God (JS 1:17). Go ahead (right now in the privacy of your own thoughts) declare that God has blessed you with good things.

Second, make a declaration that you are God’s child, His kingdom representative in the here-and-now (JS 1:18). You have been redeemed and created by Christ Jesus to represent Him in all that you do. That’s what it means to be the “firstfruits of His creatures.” You and I exist like the Old Testament harvest offerings, which declared that there were more good things to come. We are God’s representatives in this life. God has more and more good to bestow and more and more good to do through us. So make a declaration that you are God’s representative to the world, telling others of His wonderful goodness. 

If you are like me, things that just don’t make sense WILL interrupt your life this week. And you might even be tempted to think that God—the One who uses trials to transform us—is also sending temptation and evil into your life. But it’s not true! God is…ALWAYS…good! And since that is true, you and I must stop blaming Him for the bad things that come our way.

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