James, a servant[ of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
Testing of Your Faith
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass[c] he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Today I felt the call to write some blog posts just talking about passages in James that really stick out to me.
To begin we must know who James is writing to, to understand the context in which he is writing. James is writing to the 12 tribes in the dispersion, you can read of the dispersion in Acts 8.
“Count it all joy” the word “Count” is an awesome word, in the greek it literally means to STOP and CHOOSE. It means to consider, which implies that we have a choice here. It is up to us to utilize the joy that we are provided freely by the blood of Christ. Mind you I do not think we have a choice to CHOOSE GOD, in terms of salvation. However, when we are facing trials and struggles, it is up to us to choose joy. The testing of our faith produces perseverance.
“Testing” probably my favorite word in the greek language is used in this verse. “dokimion” Grace nation actually has a word study on this word. In short, it paints a picture. Smelting back in those days was done in a special way, they would heat the silver in crazy high temperature so that all of the impurities would rise to the top, and then the smelter would cut them off. He would know that the metal was done when he could see his reflection in the metal. Wow, what an awesome picture, Jesus cuts off our impurities by the testing of our faith, so that Jesus is able to more and more see His reflection in us, as we are conformed to the image of Christ Jesus.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
Do not doubt God, he is a God who gives generously when we ask in faith and according to His will.
Study Questions for your own reflection;
Who is the author?
Who was James?
Who are the recipients of the letter?
How should we react when times get tough?
Do people expect God to make them happy?
Do you need to give up things in your life to be more holy?
Dear Lord, it is hard to take joy in the midst of pain. Give us the wisdom to choose joy in the process of testing. Lord make me HOLY.