Here is a compilation of my thoughts on James 1:1-4... I use a site called BibleShared.com to track all of my scripture notes. It's a great program created by Nick Hauenstine. The best part is that it allows you to write notes for one or multiple verses of the scriptures, even placing multiple notes on a single verse. But even better than that, you can share your notes with individuals or entire groups of people. All of the sudden this tool for tracking notes can become a powerful tool for sharpening iron if you know what I mean (Prov. 27:17)...
Anyway, here is a compilation of notes I wrote regarding James 1:1-4:
I think it interesting that James decided to say he is a servant of God and Jesus... I think it is because James knew his audience (the twelve tribes) knew God, but maybe they didn't know Jesus yet.
I think we have to change our perspective on the "stuff" we go through. We may not be able to control all of the things we go through, but we can control what our attitude towards those things is. James is asking us to change our perspective... instead of getting down on ourselves about what happened to us, we give God glory for being in control and helping us through.
We need to not just focus on changing our attitude about the easy stuff, but we need to change our attitude regarding every event and situation we face in life.
I think it's interesting that he says "the testing of your faith"... he was just talking about trials of many kinds and now he's talking about the testing of your faith... I spend the better part of the day thinking about this and came to the conclusion that James is connecting the idea of going through trials and testing of faith.
Really, when you think about this on a deeper level, how you react to the trial you face says a lot about the state of your faith in God to help and carry you though that trial. I think the more aware of that we can become, the more we will be able to be intentional about our reliance on God in everything we face.
The NIV version says "Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance". This is so true...and I think it true in every situation. The more experience we have in anything, the better equipped we are to handle those situations in the future.
It is through the testing of our faith, through facing the trial, through developing perseverance that we can become mature in our faith. Great will be the day that I am not shaken or moved by anything that might stand in the way of God working in my life.
If you are interested in using BibleShared.com, let me know and I can add you to our church (Southwest First Assembly of God).