Main point summary
You are God's beloved children. As such, rest and believe in this: (1) rejoice in all trials instead of blaming God, knowing that he perfects you in them, (2) ask in faith for the wisdom you need, and (3) obey all his commands, humbly serving others as he served you.
a James, a servant 1 of God and b of the Lord Jesus Christ, To c the twelve tribes in d the Dispersion: Greetings.
I, God's servant, greet the Israeli diaspora.
e Count it all joy, my brothers, 1 when you meet trials f of various kinds, for you know that g the testing of your faith h produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be i perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Rejoice and endure trials by faith, as this perfects you.
j If any of you lacks wisdom, k let him ask God, l who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But m let him ask in faith, n with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like o a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; p he is a double-minded man, q unstable in all his ways.
Ask God for wisdom in faith, and you will receive. Without faith, your life has no foundation and is chronically unstable.
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and r the rich in his humiliation, because s like a flower of the grass 1 he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and t withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
Rejoice that your identity is in Christ, not transient wealth.
u Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive v the crown of life, w which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire x when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and y sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Trust God in trial, knowing that God will give eternal life to his steadfast lovers. Don't blame God: your temptation is from your desire.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. z Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from a the Father of lights b with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 1 c Of his own will he d brought us forth by the word of truth, e that we should be a kind of f firstfruits of his creatures.
Our unchanging God gives good gifts, firstly making us his preeminent creations.
g Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person h be quick to hear, i slow to speak, j slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore k put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with l meekness the implanted word, m which is able to save your souls.
Be silent and humbly accept God's salvation, instead of brashly asserting yourself.
But be n doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, o the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, p he will be blessed in his doing. If anyone thinks he is religious q and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s r religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction, and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
Happy is he who does God's word, foolish is he who disobeys. Pure religion is in humble service of others, free from this world's corruption.
God chose you. Act out of this glorious reality! There is no need to prove or assert yourself, instead God beckons us to a humble, quiet, life of service. What gives you joy? Accomplishments? Wealth? Status? Sonship? Whose gospel are you believing in your thoughts and actions? Do you blame God in suffering, or trust that, in love, he is growing you through it as his child? Do your desires and actions portray God as a loving father or an egotistical tyrant?