This is the year that I memorize the book of James. I started this process at the beginning of 2012 and it slipped away from me. Last year, I had the awesome privilege of memorizing 24 sections of scripture with Keely. This even included the entire 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians.
This first week in James isn’t that exciting. Introductions to me are a little tedious, but I did like how James called himself a servant, or more to the point a bond slave of God, but also of Jesus Christ. I know that my older sibling must be something pretty special for me to refer to them as “master” and myself as a “slave”. But, how often do we realize that God and Jesus Christ are worthy of being slaves to them? There isn’t much more to offer to a master than your entire self and God has certainly proven himself worthy.
I think about the vast universe that God has created and his ability to maintain all that we see here on earth on a micro level and in space on a macro level. God is worthy to be praised because of that. Then I realize God’s attention to detail when it comes to life here on this planet. His sustenance to the creatures around us. And even sending a provision of life to mankind after we fell in the garden. By offering his son to mankind as a savior must also make him completely worthy of praise. Then on a personal level. I have seen God work amazing things in my own life personally. The blessings, the trials and bringing me through them, and also the love that he shows me on a continual basis. This makes him all the more worthy of my praise.
The “joy” in the considering of pure joy is the same type of joy we should have when the shepherds rejoiced with great joy. They knew what had happened and they were so overcome with joy. We should have that same kind of joyous attitude when we face all kinds of trials. What’s interesting is if you compare the word trials with temptations and then look for those kinds of references throughout the New Testament, you notice that most of the verses include prayers of asking God to lead us away from those situations. (Matt. 6:13, 26:41, Mark 14:38, Luke 11:4, 22:40,46) Basically, we are to ask God to lead us away from tempting or trying situations but once there, we know that he has his hand on us and we will be better once we learn and struggle through them.
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings. Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,