This morning we begin a study in the book of James. Every single chapter and verse is tailor-made to challenge us in our faith.
Brother James is writing to the Jewish believers scattered because of their belief that Jesus (Yeshua) is their Messiah (James 1:1). So he begins by telling these persecuted and under-fire saints to count all that they are going through as joy (James 1:2-4). He is not flippantly telling them that what they are experiencing is great or painless; rather, he is telling them to assess their situation through the lens of God’s providence and purposes.
How important that counsel is for us this morning! We so often find ourselves reeling under the circumstances in our lives. James tells us to do some divine counting. Step back from the situation and look at it from heaven downward, not from our limited earthly perspective (1 Peter 4:12- 19). Life is filled with great blessings and great challenges. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), and our faith grows as we hear God’s Word (Romans 10:17), but our faith matures as we apply God’s Word to our various situations in life.
So, as we plunge into this exciting letter, may we truly be doers of what we learn, not only talkers (James 1:21-25). May God grant us the grace and wisdom we need to apply these awesome truths to our lives. James will challenge our tongues (chapter 3) and our feet (chapter 2). When we realize, like James, that our highest calling in life is to be a slave for Jesus Christ, we will begin to see value in the very things of life that are difficult.
Praise The Lord for His word, which enables us to see and think from His perspective. May we purpose to do divine accounting in our lives, and live each day, beloved, for the glory of our King.