Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Reasons why you don't need to live in fear

God is Good All the Time

A devotional by Jessica B. Turner

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” –James 1:17 (NIV)

Have you ever been given a gift to then live in fear that it’s going to be taken away?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been that person that struggles to enjoy the good things in life because I’m too focused on when things are going to go wrong. So much so that this is a recurring topic discussed with my Christian counselor.

My counselor would always advise that I focus on the present, constantly practicing gratitude. She would also recommend that I hold on to Who God is.

While expressing gratitude came easy because it was something I had come to practice over the years, I never truly felt like I had a good grasp on the character traits of God. 

Yes, I could easily list a handful of these divine traits. But when it came to being able to trace them back to scripture, I struggled...until I read James 1:17 (NIV) with fresh eyes: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

This scripture so beautifully illustrates the characteristics of the Father: Loving. Faithful. Powerful. Sovereign. Immutable.

Prior to this verse, the author is explaining that God does not and cannot be tempted, nor tempt us. Temptation sprouts from our own evil desires. After this point is made clear, the author brings our attention to who God is: a gift giver.

We also see this in Matthew 7:11 (NLT): “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”

While reading this scripture the other day, the first thing it evoked was gratitude. Gratitude for the many blessings that are poured out upon me on a daily basis. Since the recent birth of our son, Daniel, he naturally stands out as the most recent “gift” from above.

However, it’s the second part of this scripture that I need to hang onto. With the current unknowns in Daniel’s health, I find myself doubting if God is a good gift giver. What if we are merely waiting for Him to take His gift back? 

It’s a legitimate fear but this scripture reminds us that God does not change. It is not in His nature to give a gift to His child to then turn around and take it back. He loves us and doesn’t want to harm us. We must choose to hold onto that truth in the face of uncertainty.

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, please open my eyes to the many gifts You give to me each and every day. Help me to not take them for granted. Show me the power of gratitude especially when I recognize that You are the source of all my blessings. Reveal to me Your faithfulness. Help me to hold onto it when my faith is shaken. Establish in me a firm foundation of who You are so I can find peace amid any and all circumstances. I love You and I trust You. In Jesus’s Name, I pray. Amen. 

Song of Reflection: “I’ll Trust You” by Donnie McClurkin. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Jessica B. Turner is a wife, mom, and LSU graduate with a degree in veterinary medicine.  

After practicing small animal medicine for six years, she traded in her stethoscope to become an online wellness coach, motivational speaker, and writer with a passion for mental health advocacy. This major life change was sparked after Jessica struggled with postpartum depression soon after she birthed her twin girls.

Along with Jessica’s career change came the discovery of who Jesus Christ really is and how He was the missing piece for her to be able to move forward from past trauma that she had suppressed for decades.

Jesus walked alongside Jessica as she underwent a transformation like none other. God transformed Jessica’s life from a broken mom who struggled with depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and PTSD from witnessing an attempted suicide, to using her experiences to make her a powerful vessel for Him. To this day, God enables Jessica to touch the lives of others through her often unfiltered, yet inviting, form of storytelling.

Throughout this process of refinement, Jessica has shared her life story with the world through her social media platforms, in-person events, blog posts, and podcasts. She values the gift of transparency and has discovered that what so many people need to know is that they are not alone. Jessica has walked in their shoes, and she wants the world to know that Jesus is walking with them as well.

Connect with Jessica:

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