It gets complicated; I understand. Being fatherless hurts; being fathered wrongly hurts too. I respect the wounds endured by children. And though it’s very, very hard at times, we must learn how to trust when God makes a promise.
Much of life is learning to trust in the Father of Lights – provider of every good and perfect gift. Salvation is the chief gift and the one by which we were born again, becoming “first-fruits” of his transforming power. His is the light that will never be eclipsed; in Him there is no shadow of turning. (James 1:17-18)
Writing to encourage believers to endure trials and suffering, James assures them that God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone. But we are tempted by our own evil desires, which give birth to sin and eventually to spiritual death. Do not be deceived is the warning; for the Father of Lights is full of nothing but, light. One chief component of Satan’s strategy is to wrestle us into a belief system where God cannot be relied upon.
The epic contest of light versus darkness requires the full participation of the army of God on earth. “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues people under me.” (Psalm 144:1-2) Even to connect with our loving God at a deep level can be an intense battle in and of itself. He trains our hands for war, in the midst of war.
Today, we have the tangible foretaste of light and glory, which serves as a constant reinforcement in the battle: “God…made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)
Earthen vessels are fragile; jars break easily. Our weakness and life’s brevity serve as an aid to humility. “Lord, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them? They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.” It is in this weakness that His strength is perfected. I am not invincible but God is.
One of the last promises in the New Testament assures us: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:4-5)
Thank God for the measure of transformation we’ve experienced; what a gift! But there’s more. Many other gifts, each good and perfect, are coming down from above, as the Father of Lights – Abba Father – showers us with redemption in this world of shadows.