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Trojan Trials

Trials are bearers of gifts.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17) 

James goes on to buttress us against the devil’s seductions and conclusions we might jump to when confronting trials. “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 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” (James 1:16–17). 

The word James uses for deceived carries the sense of straying, wandering from the truth. He uses the word again toward the close of his letter when he speaks of “anyone wandering from the truth.” In other words, James does not want us to be led astray by what we encounter in the hardship and harshness of the trials we face. 

Trials are bearers of gifts. By faith, we believe that. Unlike a Trojan horse that is inviting but holds danger within, trials are foreboding but hold God’s blessing. James has explained to us that trials produce steadfastness in the faith, leading to spiritual maturity. 

James reminds us God is good and brings good gifts to His children. He calls Him “the Father of lights,” not so much a reference to God as Creator as to God as Redeemer. He has lavished His love upon us in Christ and brought us from being children of darkness to being children of light. 

With this God who is our Father “there is no variation or shadow due to change.” In other words, we can trust our God. Whatever befalls us we can declare that “our God does all things well.” He is a God who does not change, who cannot lie, and who does not fail. He is at work, and what He begins He will bring to completion. 

When trials show up, we want to open the gates of our lives to invite them in, knowing they are a present from our good God. 

“Father, help me to be firm and steadfast in the storms of trial.”

Stan Gale

Stanley D. Gale (MDiv Westminster, DMin Covenant) has pastored churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ and The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith. He has been married to his wife, Linda, since 1975. They have four children and nine grandchildren. He lives in West Chester, Pa.
Books by Stan Gale

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