Day 39 | LCBC Church

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  1. Bible Reading
  2. Daily New Testament: Quarter 1

Day 39

James 1

Like Matthew, the Book of James was intended for a Jewish audience, as seen in verse 1. James is Jesus’ half-brother. He had initially rejected Jesus (Mark 3:31-35), but probably trusted him after his resurrection (Acts 15:13). James was one of, if not the first book of the New Testament written. James is giving very practical advice for how people’s lives should match what they believe about Jesus. Having grown up in the same house as Jesus, he would have lots of insight into what faith looks like in everyday life.

Just as Jesus had been arrested and crucified, so the Jews who had trusted Jesus were also being persecuted. Understandably, they couldn’t figure out why God was letting this happen. James puts a strange twist on difficulties by saying we should find joy in them, because they make us strong. The best test of our faith comes in the bad times, not the good. Jesus had taught that it was hard for rich people to get to heaven, so James also sees poor people as being the ones with all the advantages. They can be stronger in this life due to their struggles and be more likely to have eternal life. It’s not that God causes our suffering, but he does use it to make us stronger. James tells us it’s not enough to read the Bible; we need to put it into practice. There aren’t too many people who are joyful in suffering or like being poor, so there aren’t very many who seem to have put this chapter into practice. However, many have grown stronger in their faith in difficult times. The joy probably comes more after the trial has passed and the faith has been strengthened, but with faith, we can believe the trial is for our benefit even in the midst of it.

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