The Epistle of James is one of the books of the New Testament that deals with the Christian character and how to deal with daily Christian life. The author of James identifies himself in the opening verse as “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ”. Many speculated that the author was the attributed to the apostle James, brother of John and the son of Zebedee. The text refers to present persecutions and the time of writing is consistent with the persecution in Jerusalem during which the apostle James was martyred and put to death by Herod (Acts 12). There seems to be evidence that the author was the other James, the son of Alpheus and the half-brother of Christ. He was also one of the twelve apostles.
I will in this paper attempt to expound on the trials and tribulations in James 1: 2-18. After research and study, I have found that in the first eighteen verses James is teaching Christians how to conduct themselves when under the cross. He is giving comfort to Christians who are under the oppression of temptation and trials. He pronounces that blessings and rewards are assured to those who endure their trials and afflictions as the walk throughout this Christian life. James also points out that all of those sins that bring sufferings and the temptations that men endure are not created by God. God cannot be the author of sin; he is the author of all that is good. James is allowing us to understand in these verses that we will endure trials and we will endure tribulations. As Christians our trials and tribulations works for a purpose and not just as a punishment in our life. This concept should help us even today to know that our suffering is purposeful and that God rewards us for bearing our own cross as Christ bears his cross. As we break down these verses let us look at who James was writing to. This will give us an understanding of the message.
In the first verse James mentions the condition of those to whom he writes: The twelve tribes which are scattered abroad. The greatest part of, ten of the twelve tribes, were lost in captivity; but yet some of every tribe were preserved and they are still honored with the ancient style of twelve tribes. These however were scattered and dispersed. They were dispersed in mercy. Having the scriptures of the Old Testament, the providence of God so ordered it that they were scattered in several countries for the diffusing of the light of divine revelation. They began now to be scattered in wrath. The Jewish nation was crumbling into parties and factions, and many were forced to leave their own country. Even good people among them shared in the common calamity. These Jews of the dispersion were those who had embraced the Christian faith. They were persecuted and forced to seek for shelter in other countries, the Gentiles being more merciful to Christians than the Jews were. Now let us breakdown each verse from verse 2 through 18.
The overall breakdown of verse 2 through 12 shows us the suffering of the Christians in this world is that of an instructive manner. As we can see from the original Greek language, that James uses imperative commands that is illustrated through this Epistle. James is implying that troubles and afflictions may be the result of being mature Christians, even those Christians who have been serving well and being faithful unto the Lord. The devil embodies faithful Christians in trials and tribulations in order to cause separation between Christians and God. The devil expects that temptations and trials will result in sin which will cause further separation from God. It is the duty of Satan to cause doubt in the mind of the Christian so that they will believe that God is incapable of delivering us from those situations. James is instructing us not to look at our trials and tribulations as hopeless but hopeful because we know that we are fulfilling a...