James

James 1:1-8 Trials, Wisdom, Faith, And Patience.

James, the Lord’s brother, seems to have taken the lead among the Jewish converts, but even though he greets “the twelve tribes” which were scattered abroad, his contact with Peter would have guarded him against thinking there was a division between them and the Gentiles (v. 1b Cf. Acts 10-12). Like Paul and Peter, James regarded himself as “a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 1a Cf. Rom. 1:1; Phil. 1:1; II Pet. 1:1). Also like Peter and Paul, James knew something about trials. It seems counterintuitive to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (v. 2). The only reason why one would and can do this, is because these trials are associated with being in Christ (Cf. Acts 5:41; I Pet. 1:6). There really is no joy in the trials in and of themselves. The point is that they test our faith, which produces in us patience (v. 3 Cf. Rom. 5:3). Patience is essential for one to grow into maturity in the faith (v. 4). Closely associated with this is the need for wisdom, therefore James says, “if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (v. 5 Cf. I Kgs. 3:9; Prov. 2:3-5; Mt. 7:7). However, the asking must be done in faith, without doubting (v. 6 Cf. Mk. 11:23-24). To doubt here means to be of two minds, or not convinced that what is asked for will be received (vv. 7-8 Cf. 4:8).

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