Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17 NKJV)
I read this verse today, and I felt very convicted.
Because I am utterly horrible at remembering this verse. In fact, I’m extremely skilled at forgetting this verse. I overlook so many good things in my life and instead focus on the bad things.
When something goes wrong, I automatically forget the millions of things that have gone right.
When I do my devotions, somehow, I can’t even think of ten things to be thankful for.
However, I can easily think of ten things to complain about to God.
Lately, I’ve been feeling discouraged because of my unsuccessful search for a job. I’ve wanted to get a job for about eight months, and I finally have enough time to get one because school is over.
Even though I’ve turned in about ten applications, I haven’t yet been hired. How come all my friends have jobs, and I don’t?
Well, okay. I do have a job. I clean two offices, and I sometimes babysit.
But my selfish and negative little mind doesn’t tend to remember the jobs I have and the money I’ve earned. Those jobs are good gifts from above.
To be honest, I’m also upset that my blog stats haven’t risen dramatically in the five months I’ve written it. (My expectations for my blog to explode are way too high, by the way.)
My selfish and negative mind doesn’t tend to remember that this blog costs me nothing and is an opportunity for me to share my heart (for free) and to encourage other believers through something I enjoy. This chance is a good gift from above.
I’m irritated because I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. I’ve been praying and praying, and I’m getting tired of praying because it doesn’t seem to be doing any good.
I don’t know where there is a good and perfect gift here. Maybe the gift is learning that I can’t have everything I want when I want it. (It is a super important lesson to learn.)
I am frustrated and confused and discouraged. But I am not forgotten by my God. He gives good gifts. If I was supposed to have a job right now, I would have one.
If I was supposed to have 300 views on my last post, I would have them.
If I was supposed to have a clear direction for my life, I would have it.
Right now, I simply have to count the good and perfect gifts that God has given me.
I’ll admit to you that I’m wallowing in self-pity and saying, “Why me? Why does no one want to hire me? Why is my blog not exploding? Why don’t I have a clear pathway for my life?”
I won’t know these things until I get to heaven. Bu I cannot drown in self-pity. Maybe I’m feeling discouraged so I can encourage you and remind you that you’re not alone. The chance to share with you is a gift from God to me, and I hope it’s a gift from God to you.
I might even say I’m angry at God. I’m upset and can’t understand why things aren’t going my way.
But I have to remember the good gifts.
This is not easy—especially when you’re feeling low after you lost your job or you dented your car or your puppy died.
But He’s given you so many good gifts.
Choose ten (of the million He gives) every day and thank Him for them. Things might start looking a little brighter.