For only a few dollars, we can have 'cleaner clothes', 'whiter teeth', 'glamorous hair'
and 'tastier food'. We are inundated by a flood of extravagant claims as we channel surf the television or flip the pages of a magazine. The messages leap out at us. The products assure that they are new, improved, fantastic and capable of changing our lives. But talk is cheap, and too often we soon realise that the boasts were hollow and quite far from the truth.
“Jesus is the answer, believe in God.”
Christians also make great claims but are often guilty of contradicting them with their actions. Professing to trust God and to be His people, they cling tightly to the world and its values. Possessing all the right answers, they contradict the gospel with their lives. It is not enough to talk the Christian faith, says James, we must live it!
Faith Without Works Is Dead
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? - James 2:14
The proof of the reality of our faith is a changed life.
This letter of James could be considered a how-to book on Christian living.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
It is easy to say we have faith, but true faith will produce loving actions toward others. God will give you patience and keep you strong in times of trial. When we show love towards others, we are overcoming our own selfishness. Think before you speak and allow God to give you self-control.
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
We can`t really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure!
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
God wants to make us mature and complete, not to keep us from all pain.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Thank God for promising to be with you in rough times.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
An intelligent person may have profound ideas, but a wise person puts profound ideas into actions. Asking for wisdom is literally asking to be like Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:24
But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
The Bible identifies Jesus as the “wisdom of God”.
1 Corinthians 2:1-7
And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
What we have in Jesus Christ far outweighs anything in this life.
1 Corinthians 1:9
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Resource: Application Study Bible)