The goodness of God
When sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. James 1:16-18
James wrote to believers who are going through persecution because of their faith in Christ. One of the problems created by the persecution was the tendency to doubt the goodness of God. It was the “If God is good, why is this happening to me?” syndrome. God through James responded to that problem by affirming about the goodness of God. God is the only source of goodness, He is the unchanging source of goodness and He is the source of the supreme act of goodness. The supreme act of goodness is, of course, the gift of salvation, and that goodness flows to those who believe through the Word of God. James mentioning of the role of the Word of God in salvation provided encouragement to those who are going through hardships because through His Word they could find strength to face them. The problems of life demand strength, and we often feel that we have no strength. The demands are great and reserves are depleted! The question of James’s readers is the same that we often find ourselves asking: Where can we find strength living through these days of difficulties? James’s answer is plain and emphatic: strength is found in the Word of God! Every Christian has already experienced the strength of God’s Word. Salvation is nothing less than a demonstration of the power of God’s Word. Each believer was once in the spiritual burial ground, dead in trespasses and sins! The Word of God came and brought spiritual life. God used the truth of his Word to save us. Now that same powerful Word is still available to us. God did not use His Word merely to save us and then left us so we could fend for ourselves when strength is running low. No! It is still available, and it is still powerful. If we want strength for living, then, we must look to the Word of God. But as powerful as the Word of God is, it will not infuse its strength into us if we do not appropriate it. What must we do to appropriate the Word of God? Proper appropriation of the Word means developing swiftness. “You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (v. 19). Then, lay aside filthiness and cultivate meekness. “Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls” (v. 21).