Monday, August 24, 2009

Good and Perfect Gifts

James explained, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17).

Some are deceived into thinking that the temporary gratification of sin is a "good and perfect gift." The pleasures of adultery are undeniable. Revenge can bring quick and cheap gratification. Crushing another's feelings by cruel words and gossip can bring a warped kind of pleasure.

But these are not gifts from above. They are not "good and perfect gifts." They are tainted, tarnished, and temporary.

Then there are those blessings that don't immediately appear to be blessings. James has already pointed out how trials can bring blessings such as faith and perseverance and spiritual maturity (James 1:3-4).

The gift of loneliness makes us seek the fellowship of God.

The gift of failture makes us more understanding of those who fail.

The gift of erring gives us the ability to forgive those who err against us.

The gift of sorrow makes us better qualified to sympathize with those who grieve.

Not every gift looks like one. Don't be deceived. Trust the Father, who is not capricious, who does not lash out because He's "having a bad day." He doesn't; and even heartache may be a gift of love.


A Recipe for Happiness

Happiness is something we create in our mind,
It's not something you search for and so seldom find -
It's just waking up and beginning the day,
By counting blessings and kneeling to pray -
It's giving up thoughts that breed discontent,
And accepting what comes as "heaven sent" -
It's giving up wish for things we have not,
And making the best of whatever we've got -
It's knowing that the future is secure for us,
And pursuing our tasks without fret or fuss -
For it's by completing what God gives us to do,
That we find contentment and happiness, too!

"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Phillippians 4:11


Greg C said...

What a great post. We need to look at everything as a gift from God weather or not it looks positive at the time. I am working on my new blog called "happiness." Thank you so much for all of your kind words last week. :)

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

I love that recipe....and needed it today....I think I will print it...and read it over and over

Loren said...

What an awesome post Kat! and so very true!
Trials bring many blessings and if people will allow them to be completely worked through they will see and receive the blessings!
I am going to write these in my Bible as a reminder that a gift is not always wrapped in a pretty box with pretty paper :)

thankyou for this!
I love you and cherish your wisdom, insight and friendship ~ YOU, my dear are a VERY TREASURED GIFT!

KrippledWarrior said...

Teach it sister. You have recognized and use your gifts well.
May God make his face to shine upon you. And may you reside in the shelter of his love. Forever.

Searching for God in the everyday said...

The recipe for happiness is beautiful! Did you write it? I'm so blessed by it and by you! I so enjoy your blog!

Sheryl said...

I am working on being content regardless of what is going on around me - that's hard.

Thank you for bringing the goal back to the forefront.

Five Moms & A Blog said...

Kat, I absolutely LOVED your recipe for happiness. It goes along well with my mood this morning.... (as you could tell by my COLORFUL post). ha ha ha

Have a great Monday!


Andrea said...

Great post!!
"Being content in all things." What a great reminder...I sure needed it today.
Thank you, sweet friend and GOD bless!

Wendi said...

Ahh, contentment... something that I sometimes struggle with. Loved the poem. I would like to use it in a craft project for a Christmas present, if you don't mind.

Have a great day!

Amy said...

Great post Kat! Thank you and God's blessings to you and your family.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

That's a great receipe.

Unknown said...

Shelia Walsh (Women of Faith) once said that sometimes the beautiful gifts from God come wrapped in packages that make your hands bleed when you open them. That has always stuck with me.

Sometimes the good & perfect gifts have prickly wrapping. But once we get throught the wrapping - ah the gift!

Heart2Heart said...

Good Monday Morning Everyone,

The Recipe for Happiness Poem came in the mail and the signature was author unknown. So for those of you that wish to pass it along or anything on my blog for that matter, use away. This blog passes through God's hands every day and I just hope it blesses all you stop by and stay.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Laurie said...

What great words. Amen and amen. I love how your list "gifts" such as failure and loneliness. God does use so much to bring us closer to Him! Thanks sister for the post, Laurie

natalee said...

Wow what a great post im a follower now!!!!

RCUBEs said...

Well said... :) Thanks for sharing that great poem...May many more receive the most "precious Gift"...Have a good day sister Kat and God bless.

Kat said...

What beautiful thoughts and some encouraging scripture. It is always good to be reminded to seek that gift and blessings of God in our sadness and hardship. Of course, this is easier said than done:)

I am so excited to tell you that I am pitching the country fair idea in my post tomorrow. Thanks for the great idea. Please stop by and check it out.

Lots of smiles for you today!


Yolanda said...

This so speaks to me and where I have found myself in the past 48 hours. Someone expects the worst instead of believing the best.



Kat, What a great post. "blessings that don't immediately appear to be blessings". That is so true.
We Pray every single day, Not just when in need. Many Blessings, My Friend. Audrey

the wild raspberry said...

what a wonderful wonderful post...

Four Buttons said...

Awesome, and so true, thanks for the reminder that those things we may not necessarily see as blessings are used to equip us for His work. Thanks for such a beautiful post! I have also been encouraged by your words on my blog and gentle reminders sometimes!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Kat,

Everything you said her is so good! It is wonderful to remember that we can choose to be happy with whatever God sees fit to allow into our lives because He loves us completely and only allows what is for our good.

I love the book of James!

Did you write the amazing poem?


Elle Bee said...

Loved this Kat. This was my favorite line: "Not every gift looks like one. Don't be deceived. Trust the Father, who is not capricious, who does not lash out because He's "having a bad day." He doesn't; and even heartache may be a gift of love".
That really spoke to my heart. Thank you.

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you :)

Crown of Beauty said...

It just occurred to me while reading your post that it Is true -- many things that the world consider as adverse circumstances are actually gifts like loneliness, failure, erring, sorrow... as each of these can cause us to move up to the next level of where God wants to bring us.

Thank you for this post, dear Kat.


Sue said...

Hi Kat,
This is such a great post, James is one of my favorite books in the Bible, so many truths The recipe for Happiness, is so true too. You have such a gift for explaining the Word of God!

I also enjoyed your interview with Susan, I so enjoyed getting to know her. And now I think I will go by for a visit.

Jane In The Jungle said...

Great post Kat! Needed it after the day we had today! Not the best beginning to the school year, but tomorrow is another (better) day!

Anonymous said...

I loved this post and the way you wove your thoughts so beautifully together. During this season in my own life as I contemplate the traditional Christian disciplines, I am coming to treasure the "good gifts" of suffering and deprivation. What is good is the birthing of holiness that such things bring. What greater gift than to grasp a little more of what it means to be Christ like?

momstheword said...

It is through being weak that we learned to depend on the Lord. Suffering can teach us patience, and empathy, and thankfulness, etc.

God only gives good gifts, like you said!

We are starting school next week so I'll be finishing up this week. I am pretty much ready but have a little tweaking to do.

Collette@Jesuslovesmums said...

Love this Kat! God can work wonders in us through suffering. I love reading James and hope to study it soon. It is such a challenge to me.
Collette xxx

Carol said...

I love the recipe for happiness. I also appreciate how you pointed out the temporary or false pleasures that people go after at times. It's a great reminder to recognize these things and go after what is pure, lovely, and of the Lord instead.

Thanks, Kat, for sharing a great message.

Rebekah said...

very thought provoking post