Main point summary
Christian, ask God whatever you are lacking when the trials come. Both the rich and poor Christians should boast in the same thing, Christ! This will lead to transformation by the outward expression of the hearing of the word.
a James, a servant 1 of God and b of the Lord Jesus Christ, To c the twelve tribes in d the Dispersion: Greetings.
Greetings to the readers of this letter written by James, a servant of God.
e Count it all joy, my brothers, 1 when you meet trials f of various kinds, for you know that g the testing of your faith h produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be i perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Be joyful in all trials since you know that these trials are producing steadfastness of faith.
j If any of you lacks wisdom, k let him ask God, l who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But m let him ask in faith, n with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like o a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; p he is a double-minded man, q unstable in all his ways.
Therefore ask God in full faith what you are lacking.
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and r the rich in his humiliation, because s like a flower of the grass 1 he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and t withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
Furthermore though the rich have much, they will like the grass still perish. The rich will be humiliated and the humble will be exalted.
u Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive v the crown of life, w which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire x when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and y sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
But blessedness (eternal life) comes to those who remain steadfast to Christ under trial, which is not the same a temptation.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. z Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from a the Father of lights b with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 1 c Of his own will he d brought us forth by the word of truth, e that we should be a kind of f firstfruits of his creatures.
All good gifts come from God - who never changes - who has saved us.
g Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person h be quick to hear, i slow to speak, j slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore k put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with l meekness the implanted word, m which is able to save your souls.
Anger will not transform us, so listen and be transformed by the word with meekness.
But be n doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, o the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, p he will be blessed in his doing.
But transformation is not defined as just by hearing, but by the doing of the word, once it is heard.
If anyone thinks he is religious q and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s r religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction, and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
Therefore the religion that we should desire is one that can be seen by emptying ourselves for those who are afflicted and cannot pay us back.
Ask God whatever you are lacking when the trials come.
Both the rich and poor Christians should boast in the same thing, Christ!
Why is this considered blessedness, it is because eternal life with God produces the highest joy and satisfaction we are pursing.
Transformation is not defined by just hearing the word, it is defined by the outward expression of the hearing of the word.
The proof of one who does and not just hears is who he serves. Does he serve the one that can pay back, or does he serve the lesser? The one who already has nothing and can give nothing back in return. This reminds me of Luke 14:13-14