The first chapter of James opens like a Colorado dawn – with a bright sky under a zealous sun that’s too much for the eyes and too much for the darkness. What do I mean? Well, at the start, the Holy Spirit uses James to pull open the curtains for those who “face trials of many kinds” with a completely different, almost too bright, perspective – “consider it pure joy.” God would see your faith beam as brightly as your face would in the sun’s full rays…no matter what, no matter when, no matter where.
But dark circumstances that surround us in life aren’t the only places touched by the light of this chapter. In verses 13-18, James also address the dark places inside our hearts, temptation and sin. He aims to point out to us that God is in no way the author of such evil in our lives. He means to prove God as one who is always in our corner, in every way.
So, sin doesn’t come from God. It comes from us, from within, as all inner impulses and inclinations have been corrupted (since the Fall) so that these desires are all bent on evil. All of them. That’s a lot of darkness.
Yet, still into those deep closets inside us beams the brightness and goodness of God, who has graciously chosen to give us birth in a new way, the way of the Spirit, “through the Word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created” (James 1:18). This calls for celebration, dear friends.
As you live day-to-day, no doubt you face the trials and experience the temptations. All these could leave you doubting or questioning God and his goodness and powerful care in your life, like clouds that hide the rays. Let the Spirit speak truth to you in James 1: “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
No, he doesn’t change. Instead, think of him by the name James gives you – “Father of the heavenly lights.” Just pure sunshine, all the time. In your corner, in every way.