Many people believe that the book of James was written by James, the half-brother of Jesus. At first James did not believe in Jesus and even even challenged him. Later he became a leader in the newly formed group of believers called the church. James was one of the earliest New Testament books written sometime between A.D. 45 – 50. James addressed the first Jew followers of Jesus who had been scattered throughout the Mediterranean world because of persecution. In their hostile surroundings they were tempted to say they had faith without showing it made any difference with how they lived. James tells them clearly that genuine faith will produce good deeds. (NIV Audio Bible)
Vs. 2, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” One of the best tests for Christian maturity is trials! When we go through trials it is then that we discover what type of faith we actually possess. None of our experiences are happen chance…they are either willed by God or allowed by God. Question: What is God’s purpose in trials? To grow our faith & character as His children. God would put young Joseph (Son of Jacob) through 13 years of trials so he would be able to be in the position he was. When we don’t understand, it is easy to stray from God, but that is exactly what the enemy wants us to do. The next time we struggle and do not understand, run to God in prayer!!! God is a God of good things and of gifts (Vs. 17). His Word is tried & true (Vs. 25).
Regarding application…Pollution. Vs. 27, “…and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Unfortunately here in So. Cal – Inland Empire where I live in…much of the pollution from L.A. sweeps into this valley. Here is the definition of pollution: undesirable state of the natural environment being contaminated with harmful substances as a consequence of human activities. Pollution comes into our lives by the activities we choose. By the things we do, by the places we go, by the poeple we hang out with… Down here in So. Cal I see so many Hybird cars. Why? Because of pollution. If the world sees how important it is to protect the human environemnt (going Green), how much more should we protect our spiritual environment? Here is a story how the pollution from the world can keep us from our Heavenly Father.
Illustration…There was a little boy whose mother had died. His father was a poor man, but he worked and tried to raise the little fellow. There was a wealthy couple, relatives, who became interested in the boy. They said to the father, “You are not able to give the boy everything in life. We are wealthy; we can give him everything.” So the father went to the little boy to talk to him about going to live with these folks. He said to the little fellow, “They’ll give you a bicycle, give you toys, and give you wonderful gifts at Christmas. And they will take you on trips. They will do things for you that I can’t do for you.” The little boy said, “I don’t want to go.” And the father said, “Why?” The boy said, “They can’t give me you.”