Are you going through a severe trial today? If so, your mind must settle certain issues. First, your reaction to the trial should be one of joy, for the testing of your faith develops perseverance (James 1:2-3). Rejoice when trials come your way, because without a test, there can be no testimony.
Second, you should remember that if you persevere and withstand the test, you will receive the crown of life (v. 12). All your earthly difficulties are simply adding jewels to your eternal crown and reward. That is a life-changing way to look at trials, now isn't it?
Finally, you should never blame God for all your trials. He does not tempt you to sin and only gives you what is good. "Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven's lights" (v. 17). Always remember "how kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours!" (Psalm 116:5).
The summary of the matter? Trials are working in your character, they are temporary, and God is concerned about your trials. One day you will be on the other side of the trial, saying to yourself as the psalmist said, "Now I can rest again, for the Lord has been so good to me" (Psalm 116:7).
35 The word of the Lord came to me:2 “Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir;
5 “‘Because you harbored an ancient hostility and delivered the Israelites over to the sword
10 “‘Because you have said, “These two nations and countries will be ours and we will take possession
36 “Son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel
8 “‘But you, mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit
13 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because some say to you, “You devour people
16 Again the word of the Lord came to me:17 “Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their conduct and their actions. Their conduct was like a woman’s monthly uncleanness
22 “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name,
24 “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.
33 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I cleanse
37 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Once again I will yield to Israel’s plea
35 Again a message came to me from the Lord:2 “Son of man, turn and face Mount Seir, and prophesy against its people.3 Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“I am your enemy, O Mount Seir,
and I will raise my fist against you
to destroy you completely.
4 I will demolish your cities
and make you desolate.
Then you will know that I am the Lord.
5 “Your eternal hatred for the people of Israel led you to butcher them when they were helpless, when I had already punished them for all their sins.6 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, since you show no distaste for blood, I will give you a bloodbath of your own. Your turn has come!7 I will make Mount Seir utterly desolate, killing off all who try to escape and any who return.8 I will fill your mountains with the dead. Your hills, your valleys, and your ravines will be filled with people slaughtered by the sword.9 I will make you desolate forever. Your cities will never be rebuilt. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
10 “For you said, ‘The lands of Israel and Judah will be ours. We will take possession of them. What do we care that the Lord is there!’11 Therefore, as surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will pay back your angry deeds with my own. I will punish you for all your acts of anger, envy, and hatred. And I will make myself known to Israel
14 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The whole world will rejoice when I make you desolate.15 You rejoiced at the desolation of Israel’s territory. Now I will rejoice at yours! You will be wiped out, you people of Mount Seir and all who live in Edom! Then you will know that I am the Lord.
36 “Son of man, prophesy to Israel’s mountains. Give them this message: O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord!2 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Your enemies have taunted you, saying, ‘Aha! Now the ancient heights belong to us!’3 Therefore, son of man, give the mountains of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: Your enemies have attacked you from all directions, making you the property of many nations and the object of much mocking and slander.4 Therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Sovereign Lord. He speaks to the hills and mountains, ravines and valleys, and to ruined wastes and long-deserted cities that have been destroyed and mocked by the surrounding nations.5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My jealous anger burns against these nations, especially Edom, because they have shown utter contempt for me by gleefully taking my land for themselves as plunder.
6 “Therefore, prophesy to the hills and mountains, the ravines and valleys of Israel. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am furious that you have suffered shame before the surrounding nations.7 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I have taken a solemn oath that those nations will soon have their own shame to endure.
8 “But the mountains of Israel will produce heavy crops of fruit for my people—for they will be coming home again soon!9 See, I care about you, and I will pay attention to you. Your ground will be plowed and your crops planted.10 I will greatly increase the population of Israel, and the ruined cities will be rebuilt and filled with people.11 I will increase not only the people, but also your animals. O mountains of Israel, I will bring people to live on you once again. I will make you even more prosperous than you were before. Then you will know that I am the Lord.12 I will cause my people to walk on you once again, and you will be their territory. You will never again rob them of their children.
13 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The other nations taunt you, saying, ‘Israel is a land that devours its own people and robs them of their children!’14 But you will never again devour your people or rob them of their children, says the Sovereign Lord.15 I will not let you hear those other nations insult you, and you will no longer be mocked by them. You will not be a land that causes its nation to fall, says the Sovereign Lord.”
16 Then this further message came to me from the Lord:17 “Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by the evil way they lived. To me their conduct was as unclean as a woman’s menstrual cloth.18 They polluted the land with murder and the worship of idols,
22 “Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations.23 I will show how holy my great name is—the name on which you brought shame among the nations. And when I reveal my holiness through you before their very eyes, says the Sovereign Lord, then the nations will know that I am the Lord.24 For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land.
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols.26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
28 “And you will live in Israel, the land I gave your ancestors long ago. You will be my people, and I will be your God.29 I will cleanse you of your filthy behavior. I will give you good crops of grain, and I will send no more famines on the land.30 I will give you great harvests from your fruit trees and fields, and never again will the surrounding nations be able to scoff at your land for its famines.31 Then you will remember your past sins and despise yourselves for all the detestable things you did.32 But remember, says the Sovereign Lord, I am not doing this because you deserve it. O my people of Israel, you should be utterly ashamed of all you have done!
33 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When I cleanse you from your sins, I will repopulate your cities, and the ruins will be rebuilt.34 The fields that used to lie empty and desolate in plain view of everyone will again be farmed.35 And when I bring you back, people will say, ‘This former wasteland is now like the Garden of Eden! The abandoned and ruined cities now have strong walls and are filled with people!’36 Then the surrounding nations that survive will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruins and replanted the wasteland. For I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do what I say.
37 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am ready to hear Israel’s prayers and to increase their numbers like a flock.38 They will be as numerous as the sacred flocks that fill Jerusalem’s streets at the time of her festivals. The ruined cities will be crowded with people once more, and everyone will know that I am the Lord.”
35 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against mount Seir, and prophesy against it,
3 And say unto it, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O mount Seir, I am against thee, and I will stretch out mine hand against thee, and I will make thee most desolate.
4 I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be desolate, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.
5 Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end:
6 Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee.
7 Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth.
8 And I will fill his mountains with his slain men: in thy hills, and in thy valleys, and in all thy rivers, shall they fall that are slain with the sword.
9 I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities shall not return: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
10 Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the Lord was there:
11 Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I have judged thee.
12 And thou shalt know that I am the Lord, and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume.
13 Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against me, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard them.
14 Thus saith the Lord God; When the whole earth rejoiceth, I will make thee desolate.
15 As thou didst rejoice at the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee: thou shalt be desolate, O mount Seir, and all Idumea, even all of it: and they shall know that I am the Lord.
36 Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord:
2 Thus saith the Lord God; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession:
3 Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people:
4 Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God; Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about;
5 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.
6 Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen:
7 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame.
8 But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.
9 For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown:
10 And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded:
11 And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
12 Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men.
13 Thus saith the Lord God; Because they say unto you, Thou land devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations:
14 Therefore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave thy nations any more, saith the Lord God.
15 Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the heathen any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any more, neither shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith the Lord God.
16 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.
18 Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it:
19 And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.
20 And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of his land.
21 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.
22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.
30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.
31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
32 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.
33 Thus saith the Lord God; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.
34 And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.
35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it.
37 Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.
38 As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the Lord.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own
16 Don’t be deceived,
1 This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am writing to the “twelve tribes”—Jewish believers scattered abroad.
2 Dear brothers and sisters,
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
9 Believers who are
12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong,
16 So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
1 I love the Lord,
2 Because he turned his ear
I will call on him as long as I live.
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
“Lord, save me!
6 The Lord protects the unwary;
8 For you, Lord, have delivered me
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
10 I trusted
11 in my alarm I said,
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name
in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight
is the death of his faithful servants.
I serve you just as my mother did;
you have freed me from my chains.
and call on the name of the Lord.
in the presence of all his people,
in your midst, Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord.
1 I love the Lord because he hears my voice
and my prayer for mercy.
2 Because he bends down to listen,
I will pray as long as I have breath!
3 Death wrapped its ropes around me;
the terrors of the grave
I saw only trouble and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Please, Lord, save me!”
5 How kind the Lord is! How good he is!
So merciful, this God of ours!
6 The Lord protects those of childlike faith;
I was facing death, and he saved me.
7 Let my soul be at rest again,
for the Lord has been good to me.
8 He has saved me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling.
9 And so I walk in the Lord’s presence
as I live here on earth!
10 I believed in you, so I said,
“I am deeply troubled, Lord.”
11 In my anxiety I cried out to you,
“These people are all liars!”
12 What can I offer the Lord
for all he has done for me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and praise the Lord’s name for saving me.
14 I will keep my promises to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
15 The Lord cares deeply
when his loved ones die.
16 O Lord, I am your servant;
yes, I am your servant, born into your household;
you have freed me from my chains.
17 I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people—
19 in the house of the Lord
in the heart of Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!
116 I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
2 Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
4 Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
6 The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
7 Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.
8 For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
9 I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
10 I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
11 I said in my haste, All men are liars.
12 What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?
13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.
14 I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
16 O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people.
19 In the courts of the Lord's house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord.
23 Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
give careful attention to your herds;
24 for riches do not endure forever,
and a crown is not secure for all generations.
25 When the hay is removed and new growth appears
and the grass from the hills is gathered in,
26 the lambs will provide you with clothing,
and the goats with the price of a field.
27 You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family
and to nourish your female servants.
23 Know the state of your flocks,
and put your heart into caring for your herds,
24 for riches don’t last forever,
and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.
25 After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears
and the mountain grasses are gathered in,
26 your sheep will provide wool for clothing,
and your goats will provide the price of a field.
27 And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself,
your family, and your servant girls.
23 Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
24 For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?
25 The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered.
26 The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.
27 And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.