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.
There is an old classic hymn entitled “Count Your Blessings” that comes to mind when I read this sentence from the Book of James. The repeated refrain reminds us to count our blessings and name them one by one which reminds us with what God has done in our life.
As some of my long-time readers will know, I love to read the Book of Ecclesiastes from the Old Testament Bible on a regular basis. It helps keep me grounded whenever this world’s cultural system begins to pull me away from the Solid center of life. Lately when I read the twelve chapters, I happen to notice more than before the gifts God has bestowed upon us mere humans. Sometimes, if not most of the time, it is good to be reminded.
Chapter one is the prelude which sets the stage for life’s end result before one even begins living. But in chapter two we start to capture God’s design for mankind, “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?(2:24-25)” Then again in chapter three the writer states, “I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil – this is God’s gift to man(3:12-13,22).
In chapter 5, “Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil – this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart (5:19-20).
Through the remaining chapters the writer emphasizes actions which lead to a more joyful and favorable life. Such as diligence is better than slothfulness (10:18); money is a solution to many physical outcomes (10:19); be generous (11:1-2); work your plan even though circumstances look bleak (11:4,6); invest time to pursue your goals and to rejoice every day in what you do, but remember you are being held accountable by God (11:9); don’t worry and maintain good health (11:10); and don’t over study a matter (12:12). These are only a few of the tidbits you find are golden nuggets for living an enjoyable and full life.
The bottom-line: Life is a gift. Enjoy your work, share life with others, and walk with your God. He designed life for you to enjoy His creation within the boundaries of His love – His good and perfect gift to us.
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