My pastor said one Sunday morning that one of his favorite books of the Bible was James. I immediately said, “What, What! James, why James?” I can think of a lot better books like, Romans, Philippians, any one of the Gospels, Psalms, Proverbs, or hey... maybe even Genesis or Exodus. Those are all pretty amazing books. I mean come on little ole James. I think I have pretty good taste, are not my favorites everybody’s favorites?! Bwahahaha
So, I guess I need to do a little investigation on the book of James here.
It is only 5 chapters long.
I like the theme: “Genuine faith must and will be accompanied by a consistent lifestyle”- http://www.biblestudytools.com/james/
When was it written: Some say early 60’s; some say before a.d. 50
Who wrote it: Probably James the brother of Jesus, not James the disciple. For two reasons disciple James died (a.d. 44) before this was written and disciple James did not have the influence or stature that this writer had.
Who was he writing to: In verse one we read, “I am writing to the “twelve tribes” – Jewish believers scattered abroad. Jewish Christians!
With this new found information, I will begin my Bible study right here on my blog on the book of James. Join me and let us see why this is one of my pastor’s favorite books.
James 1: 1-4
As I started reading the book, I decided to much good stuff is packed in chapter one. Chapter one is going to be broken up into parts. Whoo Hoo.
Verse 1 captured my attention right away! You will see why in a second…
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
Now if you peruse my blog a bit you may notice a blaring theme around here, JOY and how to get it. However, this verse is not what maybe most people want to read first in a letter. It would be like me writing…
Dear So and So friend of mine,
Hey, I know you are dealing with a lot of bad stuff right now; but hey no worries it is good that it is terrible right now. You are far from home and probably being persecuted for your faith; but hey…you will find joy in it. Yup…it is all good!
Haha okay maybe not really what James is trying to write; but it has that kind of feel to it. Like really when life is hard, sticky, yucky, no fun, difficult, sad, and just plain terrible…consider it an opportunity for great joy. No wonder why non-Christians think we are nuts.
I am all about “Getting Joy” especially when faced with tough stuff; because, if we were all honest most of life is tough a lot of the time. So, James you have won my heart. You shed some light on how to have joy during the tough stuff. I love the following verses.
3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Oooo go read that again…do it, do it read it again…that will preach right there. Wow, when we put our troubles in the light of scripture we see we can grow. Grow in what? Grow in endurance, holiness, wholeness, contentment, and in the end peace! I want that! I want all that good stuff. I want to be at a place that when life throws all its junk at me I can endure and find all I need in God. I believe there is where you find true joy. In the end, the hard stuff of life ends up giving you more than you could imagine. God is so cool like that.
During hard times, we have a tendency to try to control our lives. We try to put a slow death grip on the things that are falling a part. In hopes that somehow if we just hang on we can fix it. Release it, let it go, and “LET IT GROW”! God is in control of all the details of our lives. Let your momentary troubles be released to an everlasting God!
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. ~Romans 8:28
Whoot whoot, that is good stuff!
Okay, that is where I will stop for today. James you are moving up on my favorites list. Let’s see where you land at the end of all this.