James 1:2-18

What to do when you have troubles

2 My Christian friends, remember to be happy, even when many kinds of trouble happen to you. Troubles can help you. 3 God wants to see if you really trust him. Your faith in God will become stronger as a result of these troubles. 4 So you should continue to trust God all the way to the end. Then you will grow as a believer. You will become completely how you should be. You will not need anything more.

1:4Life is sometimes very difficult. Christians may have trouble, like anyone else. Sometimes we are sick or we feel pain. Sometimes other people hurt us because we are Christians. God does not cause these troubles to happen to us. But God can use these troubles to help us to grow, because he loves us very much. Even pain can cause us to trust God more. If we ask him for help, he will answer us. He will help us to understand better. We must not think that God has made life difficult for us. We must trust him to use these troubles to make us stronger.

5 But maybe you need to know how to be wise. Then ask God to help you. He is ready to give everyone what they need. And he never says that it is wrong to ask. So, God will help you to be wise. 6 But when you ask God for something, you must trust him completely. Do not have other ideas in your mind. Anybody who is not sure that God will help him, is like the water that is in the sea. The wind blows the water one way and then it blows the water another way. 7-8 A person who is like that never knows what to do. He has many ideas in his mind. He should not think that he will receive anything from the Lord.

9 The believers in your group who are poor should be happy. Why? Because God says that they are valuable to him. 10 And the believers who are rich should also be happy. Why? Because God has shown them that they are not so great. Rich people should remember that they will die, like a wild flower quickly dies. 11 When the sun rises, its heat causes plants to become dry. Their flowers fall to the ground. They are no longer beautiful. In the same way, rich people will die when they are busy in their work. Then they will have nothing.

12 Some people continue to trust God even when troubles happen. God will bless those people, if they show that they really trust him. He will give them the gift which is life with him. He has promised to give this gift to all people who love him.

13 When troubles happen to you, you may want to do something bad. But do not say, ‘God is causing me to do wrong things.’ Nothing can make God do anything bad. And God does not try to make anyone do a wrong thing. 14 It is our own thoughts that make us do bad things. When we want to do something wrong, our thoughts lead us in a bad way. 15 We may agree to do what our bad thoughts tell us to do. When we do that, it becomes a sin. Then, we may not stop doing those bad things. If we continue to live like that, the result of our sins is death.

1:15death here means that we no longer have life with God. We become separate from God.

16 My Christian friends, do not make a mistake. 17 Remember that every good gift comes to us from God. He only does what will help us. He is our Father in heaven. He made everything in the sky that gives us light. Those things do not give us the same light all the time. They change, but God does not change. 18 He chose to make us his children. He used his true message to do that. Because of that, we are like the first special gift that belongs to him from among all people.