James 1:1-12 is all about the trials that we face in life. As believers trials are a reality. Trials come in various forms: financial, other people, accidents, sickness, etc. We all know that life gets hard and trials come, but what´s the purpose behind them? Why doesn´t God just take them away? In this section of James, we have a hand book on trials.
(v2) HAVE THE RIGHT ATTITUDE: Trials are a cause for joy not a cause to feel bad for yourself. We have to be happy during our trials? No! Joy is not always connected with a happy feeling. Joy is knowing that God has our best interest in mind and that He has not lost the power to deal with our problems. It´s kind of related to peace.
(vv3-4) HAVE THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE: Not only should we have joy during our trials but we should have an understanding of what trials do for and in us. Trials produce Endurance: (Hupomone) steadfastness, constancy, endurance, a patient and steadfast waiting for, a patient enduring, sustaining and perservering. Also trials bring a believer to be Complete: (Teleios) brought to it´s end, finished, full-grown, adult, of full age, mature. Without trials we would be lacking in certain areas of our spiritual life.
(vv5-8) KNOW YOUR OPTIONS: Trials can get tough and James tells us that ¨if any of you lacks wisdom (concerning trials), let him ask God, who gives to all generously and without reproach.¨ God will give us the wisdom during our trials if we ask Him in faith. A definition of faith is seeing it the way God does. When we ask we must not doubt and when God gives us the wisdom we must conform our view to His.
(vv9-11) TRIALS SHOW NO FAVORITES: This sections is somewhat difficult to understand but I believe all that James is trying to say is that trials show no favorites. That they fall on both the rich and the poor.
(v12) REWARD: It´s a big help during our trials if we can keep our eyes fixed on the prize. Here James tells us that the man who perserves under trials is blessed. ¨Once he has been approved he will receive the Crown of Life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.¨ This is the same Crown of Life mentioned in Rev 2:10-11. Let us be faithful ¨...even unto death¨ and He will give us the crown of life.
Conclusion: We must know that we shouldn´t always try and find the quick way out of our trials. God just might be trying to perform a work in us. Let´s take the truths from this passage and apply it to our lives today.