Trials and Temptations

James 1 Instructional Manual

Just as the OT book of Proverbs offers us the way to wisdom; James in the NT follows that pattern, but James refers to his readers as brothers or beloved brethren. Thus this might be an instructional manual for the body of the church and even more so for individuals in the church. As the writer, James offers wise counsel for situations the reader might encounter as he/she moves from one city to another and no longer have contact with the Mother church due to persecution. Perhaps in their new environment,  they had come across situations where they needed counsel and wisdom to handle them.  James becomes their instructor for he has walked and talked and lived with our Master Jesus. As we read this letter, it would be good to picture yourself sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to his sermons, taking notes and then carrying that wisdom to others who have also left Jerusalem’s Mother church. 

Firstly, James begins with a wake up call: count it all joy when you fall into various trials for these are given to test your faith and strengthen your patience. Is this how you face challenges in life? This is not to say James meant to shout hallelujah but rather, they are/we are to see these as times to model Jesus. 

Secondly, James then notes that we will face both believers who have little and those who have much, materially speaking. He wisely counsels them to see how God uses both for the benefit of others. 

Thirdly, then James goes back to his first point; trials and temptations. If you endure them God, the Father of lights, will bless you. One way to handle them is to be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath or becoming angry. Take time to be quiet before God so you can hear Him speak. 

Perhaps we have not had to leave our mother church or our home, but no matter where we find ourselves, we are to see this as God’s step by step manual titled: how to be mature in any situation. Stop and ask how are you doing in the maturity department? 

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