James was the son of Joseph & Mary & half-brother to Jesus (God was Jesus’ Father). He wrote this letter to encourage the young church that was being tested & scattered in 45 AD. James wrote before Paul ever wrote to the churches. James writes as a “bond-slave” of Jesus (James 1). A bond-slave had no rights, & was totally obedient to & dependent on his master. James never even brings up the family relationship he had with Jesus as half-brother. – – James is writing to his “brethren”. If you are born of the Spirit, you are in the Family of God, and James is writing to you. Encouraging you & I to Keep the Right Perspective on things & count it as “Joy” when you face trials of any kind. Joy is one of the things that define God’s Love (Galatians 5). Joy is an attitude of a heart that is born of the Spirit, and not dependent on outward circumstances.
If the Christian is where he ought to be, he should be like his Master, “outside the camp.” (Hebrews 13) What then? If we are outside the camp, are we cut off from God as well as from men? Shall we fume and fret because we are not of the world? Of course not, let us more fervently pursue spiritual things, yielding our disentangled spirits to the praise & glory of God. Are we “bearing His reproach”? Shall we despair? Shall we be crushed? No! Truly, we will count it all joy that we are counted worthy to be reproached for Christ’s sake. Let our lips be even bolder to confess His name. Let us more and more earnestly make known His glory and His grace. While the Enemy accuses us continually, our only reply shall be to offer the sacrifice of praise continually unto the Lord our God. Spurgeon 1865
The beginning of faith is “looking unto Jesus.” We have to look to Christ, first, and trust in what He has done for us. “Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.” Jesus endured the suffering and shame due us. We can never start on the road to heaven unless we first look to Christ who “endured the cross” on our behalf! Our sins would cause us to suffer the wrath of God forever, unless we look to Christ who bore our sins in His own body. We must get faith’s view of the Lamb of God, which takes away the sins of the world. Don’t look to your own righteousness! Don’t look to your feelings for they will guide you into a fog. Look unto Jesus, the Savior. He bore the cross and removed the heaviest weights; by His death He destroyed the entangling sins. If you look only to Christ you start well; but there is no other! – – Spurgeon 1865https://www.facebook.com/groups/141512580056716/?epa=SEARCH_BOX
God is pleased when we put our faith and trust in Him! (Hebrews.11) If that is true, it would seem to me that the opposite then would also be true; God is not pleased when we do not trust Him, when we doubt His promises, and when we live in fear and anxiety. We are exhorted in the Bible over and over to trust in the Lord. It pleases God when we take Him at His word. It pleases Him when we believe that He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him – When we know that He will do what He says He will do! Pastor Chuck Smith – 1927-2013