Main point summary
Trials are brought by God to prove our faith by making us doers of the word, and thereby having pure religion
This is what I learned from the 1st chapter of James. Knowing these truths, I will now look at trials (what we call bad things) in a different way because of what is being produced in me and what is promised by God. 1. My faith will prove to be real in these trials, meaning it is not faith that is originating or coming from me, but faith that God has given me upon my salvation. 2. It is producing perseverance in me, and I am being perfected through the trials (for eternity). 3. I don't have to wonder what to do in the midst of a trial, and there are usually decisions to be made, because He promises to give me wisdom. 4. I am blessed and will receive the crown of life at the end, because God has caused me to remain in Him, and in the trial. 5. God has brought the trial, and it is good for me, because everything that comes in my life is a good and perfect gift from my Father. 6. To remain in the trial, it requires me to be a doer of the word (obedient) and not just a hearer only. For if I am a hearer only, I will not be exercising my faith by doing, and most likely will not remain in the trial. 7. And by being a doer of the word (obedient), compassion and holiness will be the outflow of my life, which is pure and undefiled religion before God. My faith is the most precious gift, for it comes from God and it causes me to persevere, to be wise, and to be a doer...I am truly blessed.
a James, a servant 1 of God and b of the Lord Jesus Christ, To c the twelve tribes in d the Dispersion: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.