“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning”
James now shifts gears and moves from evil to good, from the source of lust to God’s provisions for us. God is a giving God.
Every good gift
The word “gift” denotes the act of giving. The emphasis is on the Giver. God is the Author of each and every good gift. He never solicits us to do evil; He always does good. He always gives based on His character. He does not stop giving to us just because we fail Him.
God gives to us on the basis of His character and not based on our character. God never gives us anything on the basis of who and what we are. God does not bless us because we tithe, witness, or pray. We never earn or deserve anything from God.
The word “good” means good of an intrinsic value. God’s gifts to us are good because they come from His character and not from our performance. Because God is God, His gifts never lose their intrinsic value. God does not stop giving to us when we fail Him. To insinuate that God is not good or generous is to misrepresent who He is.
and every perfect gift
This second word for “gift” is different from the previous word for “gift.” It refers to the thing given, rather than the act of giving. This is a gift granted as bounty, benefaction. The first word for “gift” emphasizes the donation, while the second word for “gift” emphasizes God’s generosity in giving to us. God is both the Giver and a generous source of “good” gifts. The word “every” emphasizes the all-inclusive nature of God’s propensity to give. Everything that God gives, whether spiritual, physical, or social, is “perfect.”
is from above,
We do not merit God’s gifts. He gives His gifts “from above” as an act of His grace. The source of our gifts is in the person of God.
and comes down from the Father of lights,
“The Father of lights” refers to God as Creator of the heavenly luminaries, the sun, moon, and stars.
God is bountiful in His giving to us.
God never lets us down. We fail Him, but He never fails us. None of us deserves the right to live on the face of this earth. We deserve death and Hell. The only reason God allows us to walk on this earth is because of His grace. He never charges us for anything. We do not pay Him for the sunshine we enjoy.
“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
“For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7)
Some people have a high IQ. They did not give themselves this ability. God gave them the mental capacity. Everything that we have is “from God.” We love to take the credit for who we are and what we do. When we stop to think, we remember we operate by God’s unadulterated grace. Any prosperity that we possess came from God.
Thank you for the great commentary. Do you believe that everything that comes to us is a good gift even if we don’t see it as such? (Since God is working all things for our good?)
In other words, if we are living in His will, everything that comes to us is good and perfect?
Carla, thanks for your comments. If you want a detailed look at your issue, go here: https://versebyversecommentary.com/articles/doctrine/concursus/gods-decree-and-free-will/