Devotional Thought on Verses 16-18
Main point summary
James greets the dispersed believers and calls them to face trials with joy, to be expectant in prayer, and to boast only in God's care based on an accurate view of God as a Generous Giver. This knowledge of God requires them to listen to and live out of His word, since pure religion reflects Him.
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' greetings to the twelve tribes in Dispersion.
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.
Be joyful in the face of trials, because they produce steadfastness, that makes you lack 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.
And even if you do lack , then ask God, the Great Giver, in faith and you will receive.
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.
Also, lowly brothers - boast in God's care for you, but rich people - be humble, because you will pass away like a 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. 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.
God is One who blesses the steadfast with their promised crown of life, not One who tempts people to sin.
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.
For our Father has been the great Giver from the beginning and He never changes.
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.
Therefore , put away sin that kills and receive the word which saves.
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 .
Further , live out what you hear and you 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. 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.
For the only pure religion is the kind that reflects God in compassion and holiness.
Be joyful in trials! They are working steadfastness in you so that you lack nothing But, if you find you are lacking something, then go in faith to God, who is working this completeness in you, and you will receive.
1) God is the unchanging Great Giver who has always had our best interest in mind. a) Therefore, know that God blesses those who remain steadfast and never say God is the One tempting you to sin b) Therefore, put away sin and receive His life-giving word c) Even more, live out what you hear and you will be blessed. b-c - are further enforced because true religion reflects this good God.
Devotional Thought on Verses 16-18
We are easily deceived to think that God sends us temptation to trip us up. James tells us that that is a wrong view of God. Instead, we need to see that He is the One who sends us every good gift and His intentions have always been to bless us. Satan, the liar from the beginning, presented Eve with this same false view of God, which caused her to sin. She was seeing God as against her, rather then as her generous and gracious Father. To combat Satan's lies, we need to be listening to and living out God's Word so that we see Him rightly.