“Don’t be deceived,” James warns. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father … who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:16-17).
Some are deceived into thinking that temporary gratification of sin is a “good and perfect gift.” The pleasures of adultery are undeniable. Revenge can bring quick and cheap gratification. Crushing another’s feelings by cruel words and gossip can bring a warped kind of pleasure.
But they are not gifts from above. They are not “good and perfect gifts.” They are tainted, tarnished and temporary.
Then there are those blessings that don’t immediately appear to be blessings. James has already pointed out how trials can bring blessings such as faith and perseverance and spiritual maturity (1:3-4).
The gift of loneliness makes us seek the fellowship of God.
The gift of failure makes us more understanding of those who fail.
The gift of erring (think about this one a moment, now) gives us the ability to forgive those who err against us.
The gift of sorrow makes us better qualified to sympathize with those who grieve.
Not every gift looks like one. Don’t be deceived. Trust the Father, who is not capricious, who does not lash out because “he’s having a bad day.” He doesn’t, and even heartache may be a gift of love.
There are those blessings that don’t immediately appear to be blessings.