The way we view God is so important. A majority of my posts focus on how God reaches down to change our lives and mindsets. God making the first move toward a restored relationship with us is a picture of the gospel but if we don’t learn God’s character, we will inevitably fall into set traps of dangerous thinking. These thought-traps are dangerous because they leave us believing lies about God that lead us to distance ourselves from Him.
Scripture shows us God’s character over and over. The whole book is about Him after all. I’ll pick a few character traits and look at them one at a time, turning this into a series. There are countless things to learn about God’s character right there in the pages of your Bible though, so I encourage you to search out the character of God on your own as well.
My favorite truth(s) about God right now is found in James 1:17.
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.
We are given two facts about God here, but then they tie together to create a comforting picture of God.
Up to this verse in James 1, the author has been writing about suffering and we can conclude that this verse is in reference to that subject. We’ve already been told that God does not tempt us to sin. (James 1:13-15) Then, right before the verse above, he says, “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.” (v. 16) In suffering we can be tempted to place the blame on God. The author, James, knows that so he tells us that God is the giver of good and perfect gifts.
Next, instead of just calling God “God”, James calls Him “Father.” We are given the picture of God as protector, provider, and loving caretaker of His children. This word to describe God continues the message of assurance in God being the giver of good things.
Then it says there is no change in our Father. Not even the tiniest bit of a mood shift. Every decision and action of God’s is consistent with His character that we were just told about.
So we can know that God does not send our suffering, or temptation. We can also expect good things from Him today, and in the future, as His children.
Because “there is no variation or shadow due to change”, God is in an existence above what we have come to know and expect of humans. We, as men, are changing everyday; we have mood swings and lose our temper; we have the temptation to sin. He is never-changing, completely and purely Himself always, and is never tempted to sin. (James 1:13) This applies to each and every one of His characteristics. It’s mind-blowing that God could be two, or more, characteristics at the same time, but that’s God for you!