James Offers Theology – The Letter of James, Part One

Anxiety, depression, worry, and doubt — these are what many of us deal with when trials come our way. In the midst of life’s circumstances we have a tendency to forget who God is and who we are in Him. To encourage us to ask God for wisdom in those times, the letter of James offers theology reminding us of what God is like. In 1:5, James writes that his readers should ask God for wisdom in times of adversity because He gives generously to all and gives without finding fault. Time after time, this is who God has shown himself to be!

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jas 1:5). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Wrong thinking produces wrong actions. In our sinfulness, we often approach God with distress and confusion and we have problems sorting out what is lurking in our very hearts. Right thinking focuses on God and our spiritual position in him because of the gospel. In humility, we are to boast in the position we have before God (1:9-11).

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jas 1:9–11). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

We have an opportunity to focus on what is real and true today. The letter of James is a reminder that every perfect gift comes from above and that it is with this we can keep in mind that God has saved us from our sin. Jesus Christ has given us eternal life and will most certainly see us through our sorrows. His intention in both trials and temptations is to grow us to maturity while deepening our faith.

James writes in 1:16-18 that God’s goodness is unchanging, undeserved, and unending. He alone is the source of all blessing.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jas 1:16–18). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.