Main point summary
Trials though we dislike them are good for us. They produce a steadfastness and growth. We must trust God for all we need to get through them and remain humble since we will be brought low in this life ultimately. God blesses us when we walk patiently through the difficult times and we are not to blame Him for them as He is a giver of good things and we are to seek Him and His word as our help through trials not our own ways which lead to unrighteousness. The only way to righteousness is by actually doing what He says in His word. When we act on His word, we can live out a faith that pleases Him.
To those who are the dispersed servants of God
It should be with joy that we welcome trials and let them make us steadfast and rely on God for all that we need including wisdom. But we shouldn't expect to receive anything from Him if we don't trust Him for wisdom.
Let us gladly seek the humble place since that's what we will all eventually get to. We will be blessed with an award of life for remaining steadfast through all of that He allows us to go through.
We should not credit God with our temptations but instead our own sinful tendencies. God gives perfect gifts to us. He is unchanging and steadfast and we should seek to be like Him as we came from Him.
Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger as those two things do not produce God's righteousness. For that reason, get away from all the sinfulness and seek humility by seeking His word which is able to deliver you.
But act on the word, don't just hear it. If you don't act on it and obey it, then you haven't really listened to it for remembering and letting it stick with you. But the one who does what the word says will be blessed.
Whoever thinks he's upright, but doesn't control his tongue, is deceiving himself with what he holds true and his religion does nothing for anyone. Pure religion that God desires is compassion and holiness.
a James, a servant 1 of God and b of the Lord Jesus Christ, To c the twelve tribes in d the Dispersion: Greetings.
From the servant of God, James, to those who are of the 12 tribes and scattered
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.
Consider it with joy when difficult times and tests come because these test your faith in God and produce perseverance
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.
Let perseverance work in you so that you will grow into maturity not lacking anything. If you find that you lack wisdom, ask God for it. He gives willingly without holding back.
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.
But when you ask for wisdom, don't doubt that He'll give it because that's wavering like something that's not anchored, that is easily tossed this way or that. That person shouldn't count on receiving anything from the Lord because he's shifting in his stance and unstable in everything.
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.
Let those who are lowly be glad for their state and let the rich seek to be lowly. For we will all end up in the position of lowliness as this life wears on and all that is seen as prosperous will fade and die away.
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.
The one who remains steadfast during difficult times is blessed because he receives life after standing strong, which God promises 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.
No one should accuse God when he's tempted because isn't responsible for our temptations. We bring that on ourselves with our own sinfulness, leading to sin when we continue in it and eventually death if we continue.
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.
So we should realize the truth, that everything good and all perfect gifts come from God who remains steadfast and doesn't change. He chose to bring us forth that we should be like Him.
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.
Be reminded of this truth, we should be fast in listening, and slow to speak and slow to get angry. Anger that comes from man does not give birth to God's righteousness.
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.
So discard all filthiness and wickedness and instead accept with humility His word which can save your soul.
But be n doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
But don't just receive it in your heart, do it. Don't just hear it and not obey, that's deceiving yourself, thinking all you needed to do was to hear it.
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.
Because anyone who only hears it but doesn't do it is like a man who forgets who he actually is after gazing at himself.
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.
But the one who looks in the word and strives forward, not only hearing the word, but doing what it says, he will be blessed in what he does.
If anyone thinks he is religious q and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s r religion is worthless.
If anyone thinks he's upright but doesn't control what he says instead deceives himself to his core by his wrong thinking, his religion is in vain.
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.
True religion as God wants it, is to show compassion and acts of love to those who are most needy and to live a holy life as God is holy.