I started this morning going through the book of James. I’m not on any kind of timeline, or following any kind of plan, just whatever I happen to get through that day along with my thoughts. I just looked at the first handful of verses this morning, and wanted to share my thoughts with you.
James was written, most think, by the brother of Jesus, who was a leader in the church at Jerusalem. It was written not to a specific person or city, but to all the Jewish believers who were dispersed throughout the nations.
As the brother of Jesus, James was there for the whole show, so to speak. He was there when Jesus was a boy. He had the same upbringing by the same parents. It makes sense that the style of his writing somewhat reflects and resembles Jesus’s way of teaching.
*Note: Even though some argue he wasn’t Jesus’s full brother, or may have even been a cousin, this doesn’t negate that they would have had a similar upbringing and familial ties at the least.
Verses 2-4 start a conversation about faith and endurance. We are going to have trials. We should use them as learning opportunities, teaching opportunities, growing opportunities. As humans, we have faults. As citizens of a flawed earth, we will have problems. Our goal is to keep our faith in God and persevere through Him with the help of the Holy Spirit and His Word. We will grow in skill, knowledge, perseverance, patience, and faith.
Our endurance will never be fully developed, for we aren’t perfect. If we were, we wouldn’t need Christ’s sacrifice, God’s grace and mercy, or the Spirit’s guidance and comfort. We would be self-sufficient. The troubles and trials help remind us how much we need Them and push us closer to Them.