Main point summary
Christians are perfected as they endure trials, receive/obey God's word, and trust in God's promises.
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, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to true Israel - the church who has been scattered by persecution : Greetings.
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 when hard times (trials/ persecution ) come because you know the testing of your faith produces endurance. Therefore , let endurance fully grow so that you may be perfected - that is more wholly Christlike (i.e. 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. 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.
Moreover, if [you're in the midst of a trial] and need wisdom, ask God. He loves to give generously and will certainly give wisdom to those who ask with certain faith. Don't make a request of God as if he is unable to deliver because the one who is full of doubt is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind - unpredictable. The person with fickle faith shouldn't expect to receive anything from the Lord, since he is unsure if he even trusts God.
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.
Additionally, trials don't last forever. Christians can endure by keeping their eyes on their future exaltation in Christ. But let the Rich take warning: in the future the only thing he will have to boast in is his humiliation - He will fade away like a sun scorched flower distracted by his temporarily good physical circumstances.
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.
Understand, the person who endures through trials is happy because his testing has made him complete in Christ. The one who perseveres receives the crown of life 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. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.
Therefore , no one should blame God when they are tempted. God doesn't tempt anyone with evil nor is he tempted. Temptations are the result of a person's own twisted desires which conceive and give birth to sin which gives birth to death. Beloved, do not be tricked
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.
But recognize every good and perfect gift comes from God who is unwavering in his goodness. He does not change like the seasons, he remains the same. Our desires give birth to death, but his good will has given birth to life in us! His word has caused us to be born again as the pinnacle of his 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. 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.
In light of God's good gifts we should know it is wise to be quick to listen to God's word, slow to speak our own words, and slow to become angry; because human anger doesn't produce the righteousness of God, only God's word can do that! So put away all wickedness and receive the word!
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.
Don't casually "receive" the perfect word ("law of liberty" and "word" describe same reality) letting it pass through one ear and out the other, deceiving yourself. Actually receive it and be changed by it. Do what the word says and 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. 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.
Because anyone who thinks he is a Christian, but listens to his own voice more than the voice of God is no Christian. Genuine Christians hear and do the word, that is they love the unlovely, those deemed not important by the world, and they pursue Christlikeness.
Our Father is the good gift giver, so good in fact we can view trials as his loving discipline producing wholeness and holiness in us. see James 1.16-18 and Hebrews 12.
teleios (“perfect,” “complete”) occurs in vv. 4, 17, and 25.