The book of James is a no nonsense look at the landscape of life. It was crafted from the serious dedication of its author, James the Just, the younger brother of Jesus. He was known by the second century AD as a man who took his personal devotion to the Lord and the Good News seriously.
He was not always that way. In the books of Mark and John he was described as thinking his older brother a bit looney. But by the end of Pentecost following Christ’s crucifixion, he had wholly given himself over to the message and work that Jesus portrayed. His devotion was so marked that he was known for his “surfers knots,” the knobby knees that come from praying on one’s knees for extended periods.
The historian Josephus noted that in AD 62 James was stoned for his heretical devotion to Jesus and the concomitant influence James had on establishing the Jewish Christian community in Jerusalem.
When James writes, “Consider it all (or pure) joy whenever you face trials of many kinds….” he knows of what he speaks. During the spring and summer months we will be exploring how this marvelous quality can be a possession of any and every follower of Jesus. The promise is that when we possess this type of faith, God can finish His work in us and we’ll lack nothing.