James spends a few verses teaching us how Genuine faith produces authentic religious piety. He begins by sharing with us how we are to listen and be slow to wrath. He instructs that we are to set aside the disposition of the natural man and replace it with the righteousness of Christ through the message of the Gospel. Third, he teaches that we are to become workers of righteousness and love. James also reflects the importance of bridling our tongue so that we do not defile ourselves. And finally he instructs that our purpose is to visit those who are marginalized and care for their needs.
James appears to sum up all the truths of scripture with verses 16-18. These verses focuses on the Divine love and Knowledge of God's Sovereign Grace and how it is bestowed upon us. Christ is the good gift that has been brought forth from Heaven. Through Christ, we are brought into a new way of living. It is through our Heavenly Father's loving kindness and mercy that we experience a spiritual awakening and rebirth.
Genuine faith increases when we are tempted, resist the temptation, and endure. Our glory is eternal life through Jesus Christ. Genuine faith is also increased when we come to understand that God's divine gift is Love and Forgiveness. James speaks on how our temptations do not come from God. What comes from our Heavenly Father is the Light of Christ and all good things that motivate us to love God and others.
Genuine faith stems from genuine humility. Our humility and faith is shaped from those trials we face in our lives. We are richly blessed beyond measure. The challenge is to keep ourselves humble regardless of how blessed we are. I also want to add that humility is the means in which we shore up treasures in heaven and not here on earth (see Matthew 6:19-20). It is not one of many Christian Virtues. It is the root of all Christian virtues. Humility is the root of genuine faith in God.
As you meditate on James 1:5-8, think about those times in your life where you lacked wisdom. Times when you faced difficult circumstances and were unstable and of a double-mind. What were times where God has revealed to you that there was spiritual drought in your own life? In what way has God helped you increase your faith and resilience in order to establish a strong spiritual barrier against temptation? What about having your faith replenished where faith was lacking growth?
James 1:1-4 teaches us the simple and practical truth. That through our faith, patience helps us endure suffering, and the wisdom we gain helps us make the necessary changes and adjust according to the circumstances. Yes – it is true. In the storms of life, we do not have the power and authority to change the tempest. We are empowered to adjust those sails.
Approaching any scripture means we are wanting to understand the important message that may stay with us over time. Messages that will challenge our present worldview and perceptions. This is especially true when it comes to understanding the nature and character of God and how we find our divine heritage and identity through Him. Overall objective is to comprehend what we are reading. Properly interpret our own understanding of the passage