Main point summary
God's goal is our perfection in righteousness as we go through trials and submit our obedience to his Word.
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 letter from James to the dispersed Jews [Jewish believers] abroad. This is what I wish you to know:
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.
[God's joyful design] is that the testing of our faith will ultimately make us perfect and complete; we will 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.
However, if you lack wisdom , then ask God without doubting and it will be given to you from his generous hand.
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.
Don't trust in your wealth or achievement [for your perfecting in righteousness]- all that will disappear in time.
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.
Instead , remain steady and unmoved under trial for a crown of life is promised to him who stands the test.
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 .
Don't blame God if you waver under trial; He doesn't tempt us to do evil. It's our own indwelling sin which beckons us to do evil and it will lead you to 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.
Instead , God, the Father of lights, offers only good and perfect gifts. The early disciples attest to this as they were some of the first to receive salvation by God's Word [under the New Covenant].
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
Also , if you would have God's [perfect and complete] righteousness displayed through you, don't be quickly moved to anger and don't foray into impure thoughts, words, or deeds,
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.
... while at the same time, receive the Word of God and do what it tells you to do.
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.
This is what it looks like to rightly do the Word - govern your tongue, help the helpless, be set apart from the world's system and values.
cf James 4:1-2a - our indwelling sin is displayed in our quarreling, murder ( Mt 5:21-22 ), and coveting.
cf James 4:10 "Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you."
James 4:2b "You do not have because you do not ask.
Mark 6:3 Brothers of Jesus (Mary's sons): James , Joses, Judas, Simon
2 Thessalonians 2:13: "... God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth."
Rev. 2:10 The churches are told to not fear what their suffering to come (prison, testing, and tribulation), but to be faithful unto death, and Jesus would give them the crown of life.
cf Matthew 13:8 and 13:23 The good soil that produces 100x, 60x, 30x yield is the one who hears the word and understands it.
James 3:1-12 James on the dangers of the tongue.