Main point summary
Be joyful and steadfast in the hardships and temptations of life by believing and doing the Word because you know that all good things come from God.
Have you ever wanted to do something that you knew was wrong? Have you ever taken matters into your own hands when you wanted something good that for some reason God seemed to be withholding? Has life ever felt so hard when you're trying to do good that you felt like throwing in the towel? These temptations and trials are common to the human experience but our reactions to them can be anything but common in Christ. First, get perspective. In the grand scheme of things, our lives are like grass that is here for a season, but withered and gone the next. It's hard to recognize this in the midst of it all the small tasks that fill up just one day. So ask God for wisdom to see things as he does. There's great reward in store for those who stand strong through periods of difficulty. Second, know that all good things come from God. If there is anything good in you or in your life, thank Him for it because he put it there. If the temptation to sin seems so good, know that it could never even compare with the good that comes from God. If it seems like everything is bad around you, just ask him. Our God is a good father who knows how to give good gifts to his children (Matthew 7:11) and has already proved that he is ready to give us all good things (Romans 8:32). Third, live free. Don't just say you're a Christian, live however you want, and then go about feeling guilty about what you should or shouldn't have done. God has prescribed what the good life looks like in what he commands. He doesn't give laws and commandments to ruin our fun, but rather to cause us to thrive. We demonstrate our faith in his infinitely wise ways, which are higher than ours, by choosing to obey. Choosing to obey may sound like anything but living free. But remember you were once a slave to sin, you had no choice but to act sinfully. Now in Christ you have the power to say no to sin and to follow the "law of liberty" (James 1:25), which includes widows and orphans. This also includes those times of trial and temptation. Living freely means choosing not to complain and not to quit, not to settle and not to believe the world's lies. It means waiting on the Lord for the good that he will bring about in and through you.
1 a James, a b bond-servant of God and c of the Lord Jesus Christ, To d the twelve tribes who are 2 e dispersed abroad: f Greetings.
a James, a servant 1 of God and b of the Lord Jesus Christ, To c the twelve tribes in d the Dispersion: Greetings.
a Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter b various 1 trials, knowing that a the testing of your b faith produces 1 c endurance. And let 1 a endurance have its perfect 2 result, so that you may be 3 b perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Rejoice in suffering knowing that it's producing endurance, which is making you complete so you don't lack.
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.
But if any of you a lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and 1 without reproach, and b it will be given to him. But he must a ask in faith b without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, c driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a 1 a double-minded man, b unstable in all his ways. a But the 1 brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because a like 1 flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with 1 a a scorching wind and b withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.
But if you are lacking, God will give you wisdom if you ask for it in faith. Riches will fade away, so glory in humble circumstances.
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.
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.
a Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has 1 been approved, he will receive b the crown of life which the Lord c has promised to those who d love Him.
God will give a crown of life to everyone who shows that they love him by persevering through trials.
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, “ a I am being tempted 1 by God”; for God cannot be tempted 2 by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then a when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when b sin 1 is accomplished, it brings forth death.
Temptation comes from man's own sinful desires, not from God.
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.
a Do not be 1 deceived, b my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is a from above, coming down from b the Father of lights, c with whom there is no variation or 1 shifting shadow. In the exercise of a His will He b brought us forth by c the word of truth, so that we would be 1 a kind of d first fruits 2 among His creatures.
Every good thing comes from God. He brought us forth to be first fruits of his creation.
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.
1 This a you know, b my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, c slow to speak and d slow to anger; for a the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
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, a putting aside all filthiness and all 1 that remains of wickedness, in 2 humility receive b the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. a But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his 1 natural face a in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, 1 he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, a the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but 1 an effectual doer, this man will be b blessed in 2 what he does.
Therefore , setting aside sin, be doers of the word.
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. 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 himself to be religious, and yet does not 1 a bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion a in the sight of our God and Father is this: to b visit c orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained 1 by d the world.
If your tongue is unchanged by your religion, your religion is worthless. Again, true religion does the word: loving the least of these.
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.
Sin comes from within a man, but every good thing comes from God (because he has purposed good things for us).
Don't sin! Do what the Bible says and you will be blessed. That means not only abstaining from doing evil, but also getting busy doing good to the least of these.
Life is full of trials and temptations. Nevertheless, stay the course with joy because God is perfecting you in those times. Plus he will also provide everything you need to stand firm in godliness, just ask!