DIV2/6: ENDURANCE IN DIFFICULTIES AND TRIALS IN JAMES

This Unit is about the events that transpired in the book of James.

VERSE 2-8 ENDURANCE IN DIFFICULTIES AND TRIALS

Here the writer plunges into the moral and Spiritual teaching he has to give. This theme of suffering for Christians is dominant in this letter and the whole of New Testament. Suffering is said to lead to fortitude. They should seek wisdom from God in order to be able to endure suffering. God gives generously but one should ask with a single mind without doubt this is similar to Mattew7:7-8.

POSITIVE EFFECTS;

  • Suffering can make Christians to endure.
  • It can produce fortitude (resistant/ seasonal)
  • It strengthens the Christians’ faith in Christ.
  • It encourages one to pray regularly to God.
  • It can make Christians expect a good time.
  • It makes one humble and reduces pride.
  • It makes a Christian depend on God’s providence.
  • It makes follow the life style of Jesus.
  • It makes one kind and sympathetic to those suffering.
  • It trains the sufferer to be some kind to others.
  • It can create love among followers.
  • It makes people reflect on themselves and change.

NEGATIVE EFFECTS;

  • It can lead to despair
  • It can make one to evade God.
  • It can lead to loss of religious syncretism
  • It can lead to loss of hope
  • It can lead to total death
  • It can lead to frustration.

In practice, we need to bear in mind that there are prayers which may not be answered in exactly the same way they were asked. We all the same need to trust that God will lead us to where he wills.

VERSE 9-11, POVERTY AND WEALTH

To what extent is James’ advice applicable to Christians today in this section (to a large extent?)

This is another recurrent theme in James. There is a great (deal) contrast between the rich and the poor. James considers riches to be dangerous to a Christian. This is because the riches are like flowers. He says the poor should be glad when they are raised and the rich who become poor should be happy.

VERSE 12-15, WHERE TEMPTATIONS CAME FROM

Christians should try to stand trials and temptations. When they succeed they will be rewarded. They should not think that God who is tempting them God tempts no one. Temptations come when man ruled away the flesh. Perhaps some Christians had misunderstood the Lord’s Prayer “Don’t lead us into temptations”.

EXAMINE THE EFFECT OF TEMPTATIONS

Verse 16-18 God. God is the sources of all good, instead human being are the one who tempts.

VERSE 19-27 MORAL RESULTS FROM HEARING THE GOSPEL

Man’s hunger cannot promote the justice of God be quick to listen but slow to speak. But in verse 22-25.

He pointed out that hearing massage alone is not enough. He says that they should be “Doers of the word”. This is an indication of the letter being a practical one. In verse 26 the writer states one of great principals to which he will return. In chapter 3:1-2, the principal that in good Christian living the control of the tongue i.e. what you say is a special importance. Words are the chief means where by one’s personality communicate with another religion further involves helping the needy e.g. widows and orphans.

CHAPTER 2:1-7 JAMES TALKS ABOUT THE SIN OF SNOBBERY (PREJUDICE)

James condemns snobbery (discrimination) particularly in the church. There was discrimination in a way the rich are treated and the poor.

(Don’t we find a similar thing in our churches today?)

Jesus says blessed are the poor for the kingdom of God. Today in particular terms some people in the church e.g. the priests or ministers deserve special seats for security purposes. The rich would be given the good seats but the poor being told to sit there.

“The letter of James is a practical letter justify this statement”

VERSE 8-13 HE TALKS ABOUT THE LAW OF LOVE

The writer confirms that Snobbery is against the law of love even according to the scriptures. The Christian law should be the law that makes him free but responsible i.e. the law of love. There are no limitations to love. There is similarity with Paul’s teaching here.

VERSE 14-26 FAITH WITHOUT DEEDS IS USELESS

This section sounds as if it’s an answer to Paul’s belief in faith and not work, But this issue has already been discussed in the introduction law, Paul believed that faith should and could work by love. The actual gap between Paul and James is smaller than the super facial comparison of their words would suggest. If anything they complement each other they don’t contradict each other. In the section, James refers to Abraham. Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son he was reckoned righteous. He also uses the example of prostitute Rahall in Joshua 2. She helped the Israelites during the conquest of Canaan.

ASSIGNMENT : ENDURANCE IN DIFFICULTIES AND TRIALS IN JAMES assignment MARKS : 10  DURATION : 1 week, 3 days

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