Devotional

“Dear brothers and sisters,  when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” – James 1:2-5. 

James is a favorite for many Christians. It is only 108 verses, but it offers a great deal of truth and knowledge. James is uplifting and encouraging and will deepen your faith. It will instill confidence in Christians who take the time to study this incredible book.    

James wants believers to understand that there is more to faith than just hearing it.  He really wants the Christian to live out his faith for the glory of God.  It is important to seek ways of putting our faith to work and seizing opportunities presented to us to put our faith to work.

For James, faith was no abstract proposition but had effects in the real world. James offered numerous practical examples to illustrate his point: faith endures in the midst of problems, calls on God for wisdom, bridles the tongue, sets aside wickedness, visits orphans and widows, and does not play favorites. He stressed that the life of faith is comprehensive, impacting every area of our lives and driving us to truly engage in the lives of other people.  

More than any other book in the New Testament, James places the spotlight on the necessity for believers to act in accordance with our faith. How well do our actions mirror the faith that we proclaim? This is a question that we all struggle to answer well. As we study James, focus on those areas that he mentioned beginning with your actions when you face trials and problems in your life. Allow James to show the power of faith when the pressure is on.  

The faith journey isn’t easy. Believing is only the first step onto the narrow pathway. We need to obey, even when it means personal, painful sacrifice. That’s the long, hard journey of transformation that leads to the type of faith that will impact the world.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is the natural reaction to trials?
  2. How do these trials/problems test our faith?