1 I James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, write this letter to everyone in the church across the earth.
2My friends, greatly rejoice when you encounter challenging circumstances;
3Thank God for these incredible opportunities to develop your patience and faith, challenging you to completing depend on God and learn to wait for his perfect timing and intervention in every situation.
When you first encounter a challenge in life what is your immediate reaction? The notion of rejoice in difficult circumstances seems ridiculous because from our perspective these circumstances have absolutely no benefit to us. When we learn to see from God’s perspective we will actually rejoice in challenging circumstances because we know they force us to develop a greater dependence on and relationship to our heavenly Father.
4As you learn to be patient and always wait on God’s perfect timing, you will learn to live in God’s perfect plan. Your life will be complete and you will always be content.
Have you learned God’s timing is always perfect. Often we try to run ahead of God instead of waiting on his perfect time. Like Martha and Mary sometimes we feel Lord if you had just intervened in this situation a few days earlier I would not be in the difficult situation today! Do you realize God could divinely provide your every need before you asked or were even aware you needed it. Though our Father deeply cares for us his ultimate goal for our earthly lives is not to make us comfortable but to lead us to fully depend on Him!
He is continually showing us when we depend ourselves our life is miserable and incomplete. However when we depend on our Father we will always be complete and content. God’s plan for our lives is so perfect. There is no such thing as a deadend. Roadblocks along our paths are only route markers leading us to encounter and live in an even greater plan. Since God’s plans are so much greater than we can possibly comprehend as we follow God’s path for our lives we will hit many roadblocks because our understanding of God’s plan is so limited. God uses roadblocks to awaken us from our limited understanding and lead us onto God’s plan far beyond our understand. When God closes a door in an area of our lives, he opens a window of opportunity far greeted and more fulfilling than our preconceived plan.
The key to following God’s plan for your life is being moldable and flexible because our understanding of God’s plan for our life is so limited it will daily unravel and metamorphosize into a more complete picture. For this reason we must live in a continual state of flux daily adapting our life plans and goals as Our Father reveals further details of His plan.
Father what changes do I need to make today to follow your perfect plan for my life?
How can I live more flexible an daily inquire of you for an update and continual revelation of your plan for my life.
You said ask and the door will be opened. Show us how to be persistent yet flexible at the same time. As you continue to reveal your plan this may lead us to different doors but help us to continually live our lives knocking and inquiring of your perfect plan for our lives.
5If need wisdom, ask your heavenly Father. If you simply ask, he will freely give it to you.
Every moment of your life your Father has been waiting and yearning to give you wisdom to live most eternally effectively. How often do you ask your Father for wisdom? In a parable he tells us we do not have things from our Father because we do not ask. How can you begin to daily seek God and require His wisdom?
6When you ask completely depend on God and do not waver by scheming up your own solution to your problems. Those who make their own plans waver and are tossed like an ocean wave by every whimsical emotion you feel.
Faith is not mental determination or dependent on your ability to do anything. True faith is complete dependence on God alone. God wants to help you but he cannot help people who waver from following His plan to trying to scheme up your own solution to your problems. When you takeover control you effectively are preventing God from accomplishing His perfect plan for this area of your life.
7Self dependent people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Self dependent people simply cannot receive God’s blessing and walk in His plan because they are depending on themselves and inhibiting God from accomplishing His perfect plan.
Those who try to live in their own ability are rejecting God’s help. Though your Father yearns to accomplish His perfect plan, He can only work in your life to the degree you surrender and allow Him to.
8Asking God to help you, then trying to fix the problem yourself is like having multiple personalities. Such a person is insane and unstable in everything they do.
Sometimes we pray and ask God for help but instead waiting for His help and timing we try to solve the problem in our own strength. We ask God to take the wheel and complete control of our lives but then we kick Him out of the drivers seat when we try to solve our own problems.
9Let the believer who is lowly esteemed rejoice because God will honor and exalted them.
So often we desire the approval and praise of man more than we desire the approval of God.
10Let the wealthy believer clearly understand his lowly state: because his temporal riches will fade like the flower of the grass.
Though describing a person as wealthy and lowly may seem like an anomaly but wealthy individuals desperately need to realize his sobering reality because wealth provides the illusion of importance and security. Though God yearns to bless his children and use us as distributors of his infinite wealth but he cannot bless most Christians because prosperity would lead them to depend on money instead of God.
11From the moment the sun rises, the grass begins to wither, the flower falls and its beauty is forever forgotten. In the same way, the rich will fade away and their legacy will be completely forgotten.
We need to daily remind ourselves of this truth. The mindset of our society is to labor all your life to build an earthly legacy. In many subtle ways this thought infiltrates our mind daily. For this reason we must continually remind ourselves any earthly legacy we build will be destroyed and forgotten. The only significant and meaningful thing I can do with my life is to live for eternity and take daily practical steps to live build an eternal legacy today. How can you rearrange your life to live the greatest eternal life you possibly can today?
12Blessed is the man that endures difficult circumstances: For when he is challenged, he will receive the crown of life, that God promises to all who love him.
13When you are tempted don’t you dare think God is tempting you. For since God is holy, he cannot be tempted with evil and he would never tempt his children.
It is very important to understand as a loving Father, God would never tempt you or inflict harm on you in anyway. Until you understand the fundamental nature of God as a loving Father, you will never be able enter into relationship with Him.
14 An individual is only tempted and drawn away by their own desires.
Ironically, the famous saying the devil made me do it is completely false. Though the he is daily at work trying to influence our lives, the devil cannot force you to do anything. He can only tempt us in areas where we have desires that we have not completely surrendered to God. If you have completely surrendered and crucified you every desire then the devil will have absolutely no place in your life.
15If followed through desires will lead to sin: and if sin is allowed to continually grow it will lead to death.
16My friends do not be mislead.
17Everything great in your life came directly from your heavenly Father who is unchanging. He will always be your Father and there is no possible way he will ever change.
Often times we wonder if we can actually trust God. Over the years an innumerable numbers of individuals of asked for help because they were struggling to trust God. In reality God is the only in the entire universe person we can really trust. Everyone else will inevitably change, break promises and let us down. There a one hundred percent chance every other individual in our lives will change and a zero percent chance of God changing. In light of this, our struggle to trust God is so illogical. How can we completely trust finite humans who will inevitably let us down but we can’t trust our infinite Creator who is unchanging, in control of the entire universe and will always do exactly what He promises?
18By his perfect will and by the power of His word He created us to be his children. God recreated us in Christ to begin a new race beings who are capable of walking in relationship with their heavenly Father. This is a preview or first fruits of the eternal experience all his creatures will share.
Our redeemed, overcoming lives as born again believers are only a preview of God’s eternal plan for all of creation. Our minds cannot even begin to fathom how incredible this will be.
19So dear friends, in view of who we are in Christ, let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.
As Christians we are part of Christ Himself. As part of Christ’s body you are the physical expression of Jesus Christ today on this earth. The Greek term for Christian literally translates “little christ”. How can you literally live this way today?
20For the human anger is in opposition to God’s nature and character.
God does not arbitrarily command us not to get angry. The reason He commands to live this way is because He does not want to live in opposition to Him.
21So separate yourself from anything contrary to God’s character and humbling allow God’s word to be planted in your heart, for within it resides the power to save your soul.
Any darkness in our lives is separating us from our Father and preventing His power from working in our lives.
22 Actively allow God’s word so your life will become a living fulfillment of Scripture. Those who hear but do not allow God’s word to take action in their lives are very deceived.
Are you merely listening and reading God’s Word or are you allow it become complete reality in your daily life?
23If you only hear the word and do nothing, you are looking into the mirror of God’s word but forget everything you see because you do not put it into practice.
24This would be no different than a person who looks in the mirror and only a few seconds later completely forgets what they look like. To this individual looking into the mirror was a waste of time. Likewise if you only listen to God’s word and do not put it into action you are wasting your time and will be greatly deceived!
It’s a waste of time listening to God’s word unless we have prepared the soil of our hearts to receive His Word and allow them to completely transform our lives.
25But those who spends their entire lifetime investigating God’s law of freedom will be blessed in all of their ways.
What do you spend your time pursuing and searching for in your daily earthly life?
26If any person thinks they are godly, and cannot control their tongue, they are deceived and their “godly life” is completely worthless.
27Pure and authentic religion in the eyes of the Father is pursuing God and passionately caring for others. Our beliefs are demonstrated by caring for orphans,widows and those who are in need help. Our devotion to God is reflected by living a pure, holy life refusing to compromise with the world one bit.