Q. I struggle with “being in this world but not of it” I believe that even though we profess our faith in Jesus, we still are sometimes “deceived” into thinking that just because we think something is good, it must be from our Father. And I know the verse of “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” but isn’t that talking about Jesus? I hate being deceived and I was just wondering if you had any advice or suggestions on the subject.
A. I take the promise you quoted from James 1:17 to include everything good and perfect that we receive, not just the gift of His Son. I think it was placed after his comments in verses 13-15, that God doesn’t tempt us, for that reason. If you’re being tempted into sin, it’s not from God. But if you’re being blessed then it is. If I ask the Lord for something and receive it I count it as answered prayer. Jesus said that our Father loves to give good gifts to His children. (Matt. 7:11)
One caution I would add is that God’s blessings are always consistent with His law. For example, if you pray for money and then find a wallet full of money lying in the street and the owner’s name is on a card in the wallet, the money is neither the answer to your prayer, nor is it a gift from God. It’s a temptation from the devil. But if you return the wallet, and the owner is so grateful that he gives you all the money that’s in it, then you can consider it a gift from God.