Our Generous God
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” –James 1:17
Earlier this fall, I stood at the bedside of a hospital crib where my grandson lay motionless. He and his twin brother had fallen seriously ill with RSV and pneumonia. Decades of life and ministry had not prepared me for the sight of seeing my grandsons suffer, needing support for breathing. It left an imprint on my heart. During those long days of waiting and banging on the doors of heaven to heal my grandsons, I rehearsed what I knew to be true about my Heavenly Father. Would I trust my generous God with whatever the outcome might be?
At first glance, when reading James 1:17 we might not see how this verse directs us towards the generosity of God. But upon slowing down and really reading it thoroughly, we find the words“every”; “good”; “gift”; and “no change or variation.” Each word alone could give us the idea of generosity, which defined in the Oxford dictionary means, “Showing readiness to give more of something than is strictly necessary or expected.” The Greek meaning for every means “all, every, of every kind” and is found 1,078 times in the Bible. With every used that many times throughout the Bible, I would say that defines generosity.
This verse also points us to our good and perfect gift from God, who gave the ultimate gift, His Son, Jesus Christ. A good, free, and perfect gift from Him that provides a way for the dead to be rescued from the domain of darkness (Col. 1:13). God does not change like the light that changes from day to night or the shifting shadow that moves when we move. Malachi 3:6 reminds us: “For I, the Lord, do not change . . .” showing us His generous nature. What a comfort and firm foundation for us as we face the future, the unknown, the trial we may be facing today or when standing at the bedside of a grandchild.
We can rest in our generous God whose character and eternal purposes do not change, providing us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). My grandsons are now home and back to keeping their parents on their toes. We can trust God for all and any outcomes, and sometimes God will answer in a way we do not expect, but we can trust His intentions for us are always good (Rom. 8:28). He is our generous God.