Letter of James 2

James 1, 5–8: Wisdom

True believers are expected to turn to God looking for wisdom when they are going through trials, when they need to make a decision, especially a tough one. They turn to God and God generously pours wisdom out. Again, this is a matter of trusting God, faith in action. Rejecting God’s wisdom or seeking wisdom apart from Him demonstrates lack of trust in God who has saved us all. James is continually trying to teach believers that what God longs to see in their lives is evidence of their trust in Him.
When we are under pressure, we so easily tend to lose perspective and our bearings, sometimes we may feel guilty about what is happening or we may be tempted to look for a quick and easy way out, even if it is wrong. Or we might feel angry, or depressed and hopeless. Most common of all is a feeling of confusion and disorientation. In such circumstances it is vital that we learn to see things from God’s point of view. That is what wisdom is all about, to see things from God's perspective and have the courage and ability to do what you need to do.
What is wisdom from a biblical perspective? Wisdom is practical knowledge, or knowledge that acts. Knowledge that transform the way we live and the life of those around us. And all that from God’s perspective. You are told to ask for wisdom not knowledge. What you need in your daily life especially when you do not know where you are or what to do is wisdom, practical knowledge, useful for your daily life, not theoretical knowledge but practical wisdom.
1. Are there times when you have felt you have lost your bearings when under pressure?
2. What do you do when you lack wisdom to find your way when you have lost your bearings? Do you pray to God asking Him for the wisdom you need? Do you pray trusting that God is going to give what you are asking for?
3. What does the expression “being a double-minded man” mean in this context? Can you think of times or situations when you behave or might behave in such a way?
For further prayer and reflection.
If you wish to learn more about what is wisdom there are plenty of places where you can draw information from in the Scriptures. Especially rich is the book of the Proverbs, here there are a few verses where you can find some guidance and help in your meditation and prayer.
Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 1:20-22, Proverbs 9:10-12, Proverbs 24:3, 1 Kings 3, 7-14.
“Without rebuke or blame”: Perhaps you would like to spend a moment thanking God that, despite our shortcomings and wrongdoings, you still can rely upon his generosity.

James 1, 9–11 Wealth and Poverty as trials

Wealth and Poverty are but circumstances in life. Circumstances matter, indeed, but what matters the most is how you react, what do you do with the time you are given and with the circumstances you are in. will not deny that most probably everybody
would choose to be in the position of the wealthy. Lacking is always harder than having more than needed. Again, the key point is our attitude towards money and material goods. Being rich does not make you a bad person in the same way as being poor does not make you a good person. The point here is who controls who. Are material goods a means to earn a life a to help others or are they an end in themselves?
It should be remembered that the Bible does not condemn the rich as a person, nor does wealth. there have been rich men (Joseph of Arimathea, Barnabas, among others) who have served the Lord. Paul recognized the presence of "the rich" in Timothy's church (1 Tim. 6:17, 19). But what the Bible does condemn is greed, that is, the unbridled desire for the possession of more material goods for merely selfish purposes. James is saying, in short, that both the rich and the poor should set their eyes and heart on things that matter, that are lasting and do not expire.
You are to live in the light of the future. James says that the outcome for the person who perseveres under trial is the promised crown of life. Take the long run perspective, he says. Remember where this is heading. Keep your eyes on eternity.
1. In 1:9-11, James points out two specific kinds of trials we can face: the trial of possessing little and the trial of possessing much. In what ways, in your opinion, can each of these circumstances be trials?
2. How should James 1:10-11 affect your attitude toward your material goods and possessions?

For further prayer and reflection.
Spend time reflecting on those things that are tremendously important to life and that make the difference between a full life and a mediocre one? Ask God to guide you and show you that He distracts your heart and mind from what really matters, from full trust in the Lord.

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