1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings. 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. 9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
- Life involves us in many kinds of testing; it is in God that the testing of our faith produces endurance and because of Him, we are able to grow mature. When we experience difficult times—whether financially, relationally, or otherwise—those times are when we are most able to focus and be dependent on God. These times can be filled with joy when we realise that He is strong when we are weak.
- Recalling a trial I have experienced, what pressures did it bring on my faith? What “wisdom” did I gain through it?
- In this wealth-chasing modern society, what do vv 9-11 mean to me? What might James say I should “take pride in”? Will I heed his teaching? Why?
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
Has anyone in your family or a close friend experienced a difficult situation? What was it? Why was it difficult? How did your family (or this close friend) do to overcome it? What have you learned from this experience? How would you do if you face another difficult situation? Write some of them in your Family Devotional Journal.