Summary: Facing your fears is the only way to deal with them
James would have been trained in the Jewish religion, because his
parents were Hebrews. He would have been perfect to lead the Jews who
had accepted Jesus as their Saviour. The letter was actually written
to Jewish Christians, which is still in character for this to be the
half-brother of Jesus. The letter is even addressed to the twelve
tribes of Israel. It is, however, useful to all Christians, as well as
It was written before 62 A.D. which is the year believed to be
the year of death for St. James.
Now we will begin the verse by verse study of the book of James
in James 1:1 "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to
the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting."
We see in this very first verse, that James did not mention the
fact that he was the half-brother of Jesus in the flesh. He was so
humbled by the fact that, he had not immediately realized who Jesus
was. He, like Mary, was the family of Jesus in the flesh, but he fully
realized that Jesus was his Lord. He calls himself servant, in the
verse above, to show his total submission to the service of the Lord.
At the time James wrote this, the twelve tribes had not returned to
Israel. James, at the resurrection of the Lord, had submitted himself
to not only salvation through Jesus, but had dedicated his life to His
service. It is easy to understand why James did not believe Jesus to
be the Messiah at first, because they were raised together as
James 1:2 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers
James gets right to the subject of his letter in this verse.
There was much persecution in the church in this day. James just says,
to face the problems that arise and grow from those problems. James
speaks to them as brothers in Christ. It is difficult to see when we
are facing temptations, but there is a lesson to be learned in each of
them. Jesus faced every temptation when he went to the mountain and
fasted forty days and nights. The main lesson to be learned in the
temptation, is that God will help us face the problem. He will see us
through, if we will place our trust in Him. I Corinthians 10:13 "There
hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God
[is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are
able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye
may be able to bear [it]." Knowing that we are to grow through this
temptation should bring us joy.
James 1:3 "Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh
Now we are looking at one of the benefits of temptations. Most of
us are not patient at all, before we are saved. If we are to take on
the likeness of Christ, then we must, also, become patient. We see a
very good example of this in Job in the Old Testament. He faced great
temptation and patiently waited for an answer from God. The end of the
temptation was victory for him.
James 1:4 "But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may
be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
When we pray, we usually want to see an instant answer to our
prayer. We are not instantly transformed into that perfect Christian
that we all desire to be, and our prayers are many times not answered
immediately either. There is a growing process to become the person we
want to be. Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the
faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man,
unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" When we
are saved, we have just entered the path that leads to righteousness.
We grow in the Lord and His righteousness as we are instructed in His
Word. We then must apply the instructions that we have learned to
practical living to become that full Christian. The Bible says that we
must be fed milk and honey, until we grow into the mature Christian
who can handle the meat of the Word. We will see the victory, if we
patiently wait for it.
James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that
giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be
Wisdom is a gift from God. Knowledge is accumulated learning. The
best way to grow in the Lord, then, would be to pray that God will
give you the gift of wisdom and understanding. Ask God for the Holy