Brent Karding
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The Path to Eternal Happiness
James 1
The path to eternal happiness isn't what you think: it requires joyful endurance of trials and humble obedience to God's Word.
Published July 5th, 2018
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Main point summary
Main point summary
Endure trials joyfully and obey God's Word humbly, and you will be happy forever.
James 1:1-27
a James, a servant 1 of God and b of the Lord Jesus Christ, To c the twelve tribes in d the Dispersion: Greetings.
James, Jesus' servant, greets dispersed Jewish believers.
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.
Consider trials to be joyous because you know faithfully enduring them produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be i perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
And let steadfastness do its work, so that you can become completely mature.
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.
Whoever wants wisdom must only ask their generous God, and they will receive it.
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.
However , they must ask in faith, for doubting, unstable people won't receive any answers to prayer.
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.
The lowly brother should boast in his exaltation but the rich in his humiliation,
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.
because he is doomed to fade away, like a sun-scorched flower.
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.
The man who endures trials is happy, because he will receive God's promised reward of life.
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.
If you are tempted, don't accuse God of tempting you; your sinful desire is to blame! And that desire will give birth to sin, which grows up into death.
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
Don't be deceived, for God is the unchangeable giver of all good gifts.
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.
For example , he chose to give us eternal life as the first part of the new creation.
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.
Know this : everyone needs to be quick to listen but slow to speak and to be angry, because anger doesn't produce God's righteousness.
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.
So discard filthy sin and receive God's saving words.
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 don't receive God's word in your ears only but in your hands as well! Otherwise you are like a man who sees himself in a mirror and then forgets what he looks 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.
On the other hand , the one who pursues obedience to God's word will be blessed.
If anyone thinks he is religious q and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s r religion is worthless.
If a self-called religious person has a loose tongue, his religion is worth nothing.
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.
This is because a truly religious person shows compassion and practices purity.
Joyful endurance of trials produces steadfastness, which produces maturity.
Whoever wants wisdom must ask God in faith.
Humility is better than riches because riches will be burned up.
You are happy if you endure trials instead of blaming God for them, because God doesn't tempt anyone but gives good gifts, like eternal life.
Instead of being quick to angry speech, be quick to listen to God's saving words and to obey them so that you will be blessed.
Lack of self-control in speech reveals worthless religion, because true religion is compassionate and pure.
Receive God's words with humble obedience and you'll be blessed; you see, self-deceived religion is worthless.
Endure trials joyfully, using the wisdom God will give you if you ask in faith; if you do this, you won't be like the arrogant rich who fade away but will be happy forever.
There are two main exhortations in this chapter - two big ideas that will lead us to eternal happiness. The first is in verses 2-18: Endure trials joyfully, using the wisdom God will give you if you ask in faith; if you do this, you won't be like the arrogant rich who fade away but will be happy forever. Our problem is that we we are tempted in three ways when we have problems. We are tempted to complain during trials, forgetting how beneficial they are. We are tempted to envy the rich, forgetting how temporary is their success. We are tempted to blame God for our temptations, forgetting how good and generous he is. But if we remember God's good purposes for us, we can endure trials with joy and look forward to eternal happiness. The second is in verses 19-27: Receive God's words with humble obedience and you'll be blessed; you see, self-deceived religion is worthless. Our problem is that we are tempted to speak in anger, forgetting that we cannot accomplish anything godly by sinning in anger. We are tempted to hear God's word without obeying it, forgetting that this leads to self-delusion rather than God's blessing. But if we receive God's words with humble obedience, we will bring joy to God's heart and receive his life-giving blessing.
Mildred Codilla
Hello brother, do we have a arcing group discussion now?
Brent Karding
Hi Mildred! Sorry for my late response. There was a technical glitch that was actually my fault, so the discussion didn't happen. I hope you'll be able to make the next one!
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.