Nathan Clow
God's child.
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James 1
James 1:1-27
Can we really rejoice in our trials?
Published July 1st, 2017
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Main point summary
James 1:1-27**
Main point summary
Remain steadfast in faith through trials; you will be forever blessed. Lean hard on God who freely upholds all who ask in faith. By faith live the word; having compassion on the afflicted and living a holy life.
James 1:1-27**
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, a servant of God, to the Jews, 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 and remain steadfast through trials of your faith that you may be perfect and whole.
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.
If you lack wisdom then in faith ask our generous God 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.
Moreover the poor brother aught to boast in God's salvation but those who pursue worldly riches will fade away in their pursuits [so pursue the heavenly treasures, God's free gift of life].
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.
So that , when you have stood through the test of your faith, you will receive the blessing and in the end eternal life with 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. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.
And don't say God tempts, he doesn't, so don't be deceived by sin.
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 the Father's gives every perfect and good gift. Remember that he has freely given us the gift of life.
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.
And don't get angry, but receive God's word with meekness since it is able to save your soul.
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.
Furthermore , don't stop at the hearing but continue by obeying the word. In doing this you will abide in the word and live it.
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 .
And if anyone does not control their tongue their faith is useless since true faith produces compassion and a holy life.
Don't let anger hold you but abide in the word. So listen to others having compassion on them and live a holy life.
Praising God in adversity. Count it all joy - it's a big ask, to be joyful in the face of severe and prolonged trials. It can almost seem arrogant to think that we could be joyful in trials. Praising God when our lives are falling apart - either because of our own faults or because of false accusations or because of an accident that leaves us broken. God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble (Ps 46:2). Praising God in the face of adversity comes from drawing near to God by focusing on who he is and then resting in him. Joy in holding on. I think this joy is deeply embedded within the Christian and is wrought about by God's own merciful hand by the Holy Spirit. James tells us that our faith will be tested to produce in us a steadfastness that meekly holds on to our Heavenly Father. This faith is based, not on our own wisdom or state, but on God who has freely given us life. He will freely shelter and uphold us now and for eternity. This is our joy - that we lack nothing because we have everything in our Heavenly Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ, be that wisdom, righteousness, peace, joy... All good things come from our Heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit pours God's love into our hearts, and this is accompanied by joy (1 Thes 1:6 Rom 5:5). It's his joy, his presence that we seek in our trials (Ps16:11). Joy in the crying. An overwhelming cry for help comes from a heart that knows and loves God for who he is - all surpassing sufficiency. Trials lead us to know, without doubt, that our help comes from God our Father; salvation belongs to God and him alone. It is in our trials that we can cry out "whom have I in heaven but you and there is nothing on earth I desire but you" Ps 73:25. It is in our trials that we learn that without God we can do nothing and that we are truly his children because he reveals our God-given heart to us. Here again is joy - We cry, Abba Father, and he affirms, you are my child (Rom 8:15-16). Joy in being transformed. The Lord is holy and abounding in compassion. As his children we long to be like our Heavenly Father. That we too might show compassion from a sincere heart and walk knowing that he is walking with us, in us and beside us. Prayer. Merciful Father, forgive our foolish ways and lead us in paths of righteousness. Give us hearts that are abounding in mercy and compassion for those in need. Give us the faith, will and strength to do good to the helpless. Open up opportunities to freely pour love on those who have no hope and sit in darkness. In your name, Lord Jesus, and for your glory. Amen.
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.