James 1:1 —– James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.
James could have pulled rank by opening the letter, “James, brother of none other than Jesus Christ. I grew up with Him! I knew Him long before He became famous!” But James started the letter by calling himself “bond-servant”.
Bondservant means, “Slaves,” and refers to those who are the property of their masters. They had no rights. They lived to do their masters’ will. James adds, “A bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
James is a person in authority and a big position yet he calls himself the servant of God. His life is to serve God and through God serve others. He writes this letter to the twelve tribes of Israel who are scattered abroad and persecuted because they have accepted Christ. Their belief in Jesus forces them to run away from Jerusalem. The only future looming in front of them is persecution and death. James is suggesting to these people how they should behave while going through such a crisis.
James writes and tells them that even though they may be afar, God has a purpose and a plan. He encourages them to look to the future that God has for them. God still provides, comfort and provides because they are His children.
James 1: 2 —– My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.
James regarded trials as inevitable. He said when, not if you fall into various trials.
What do trials do to us? Trials develop godly character, and that enables us to count it all joy, because we know that trials produce perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.
Trials are occasions for joy, not discouraged resignation because they are used to produce patience and make us strong.
A baby learning to walk falls down a number of times, but does the mother discourage the baby? In the same way God allows us to have trials in our life to make us stronger. We are not victims but victors!
God brings men into deep waters not to drown them but to cleanse them