Sometimes you need about 40 years to really understand a Bible passage. That’s what happened with me and James 1:17. Ever since I was a kid, I knew the wonderful words from Jesus’ half brother James: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (James 1:17). First as a teenager, then as a Christian adult, and finally as a pastor, that passage was my go-to verse for Thanksgiving Day and devotions on gratitude.
But it wasn’t until I turned 40 that something fairly obvious hit me. “Hmm … out of all God’s good gifts, which gift is the best? What gift could be so good that James would call it ‘perfect’? Which perfect gift came down from the Father so we would be guaranteed to believe that God is good? Oh! Jesus!”
For four decades, I had used James 1:17 to make lists of all my physical and financial and relational blessings, but now I can’t read those words without thinking of the greatest gift of all, the perfect gift who came down from heaven to become my Savior and Redeemer—Jesus!
I’m not sure how this year has been going for you. You might be flying high or in chronic pain, but Christians always have the greatest reason to fall on their knees and give thanks to the Father. You have Jesus. You always will.