1I, James, am writing this letter. I serve God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am sending this letter to you, the 12 tribes scattered among the nations.
Facing All Kinds of Trouble
2My brothers and sisters, you will face all kinds of trouble. When you do, think of it as pure joy. 3Your faith will be tested. You know that when this happens it will produce in you the strength to continue. 4And you must allow this strength to finish its work. Then you will be all you should be. You will have everything you need. 5If any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He will give it to you. God gives freely to everyone and doesn’t find fault. 6But when you ask, you must believe. You must not doubt. That’s because a person who doubts is like a wave of the sea. The wind blows and tosses them around. 7They shouldn’t expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8This kind of person can’t make up their mind. They can never decide what to do.
9Here’s what believers who are in low positions in life should be proud of. They should be proud that God has given them a high position in the kingdom. 10But rich people should take pride in their low positions. That’s because they will fade away like wild flowers. 11The sun rises. Its burning heat dries up the plants. Their blossoms fall. Their beauty is destroyed. In the same way, rich people will fade away. They fade away even as they go about their business.
12Blessed is the person who keeps on going when times are hard. After they have come through hard times, this person will receive a crown. The crown is life itself. The Lord has promised it to those who love him.
13When a person is tempted, they shouldn’t say, “God is tempting me.” God can’t be tempted by evil. And he doesn’t tempt anyone. 14But each person is tempted by their own evil desires. These desires lead them on and drag them away. 15When these desires are allowed to remain, they lead to sin. And when sin is allowed to remain and grow, it leads to death.
16My dear brothers and sisters, don’t let anyone fool you. 17Every good and perfect gift is from God. This kind of gift comes down from the Father who created the heavenly lights. These lights create shadows that move. But the Father does not change like these shadows. 18God chose to give us new birth through the message of truth. He wanted us to be the first harvest of his new creation.
Listen to the Word and Do What It Says
19My dear brothers and sisters, pay attention to what I say. Everyone should be quick to listen. But they should be slow to speak. They should be slow to get angry. 20Human anger doesn’t produce the holy life God wants. 21So get rid of everything that is sinful. Get rid of the evil that is all around us. Don’t be too proud to accept the word that is planted in you. It can save you.
22Don’t just listen to the word. You fool yourselves if you do that. You must do what it says. 23Suppose someone listens to the word but doesn’t do what it says. Then they are like a person who looks at their face in a mirror. 24After looking at themselves, they leave. And right away they forget what they look like. 25But suppose someone takes a good look at the perfect law that gives freedom. And they keep looking at it. Suppose they don’t forget what they’ve heard, but they do what the law says. Then this person will be blessed in what they do.
26Suppose people think their beliefs and how they live are both right. But they don’t control what they say. Then they are fooling themselves. Their beliefs and way of life are not worth anything at all. 27Here are the beliefs and way of life that God our Father accepts as pure and without fault. When widows are in trouble, take care of them. Do the same for children who have no parents. And don’t let the world make you impure.
2我的弟兄姊妹，當你們遭遇各種磨煉的時候，都要認為是喜樂的事。 3要知道你們的信心經過考驗會產生堅忍。 4你們要堅忍到底，使你們纯全、完備、毫無缺欠。
9卑微的弟兄高升，應當快樂。 10富有的弟兄降卑，也要快樂，因為他會像花草一樣衰殘。 11驕陽升起，草就乾枯，花也凋謝，美麗就消失了。富有的人在忙忙碌碌中也會如此衰殘。
12在試煉中能夠忍耐到底的人有福了，因為他若經得起考驗，就會得到主應許賜給愛祂之人的生命冠冕。 13當人受到誘惑時，不可說：「是上帝在誘惑我。」因為上帝不受邪惡的誘惑，也不誘惑人。 14其實每個受到誘惑的人都是受自己的私慾慫恿和誘惑。 15私慾懷了胎，便生出罪，罪一旦長成，便帶來死亡。
16我親愛的弟兄姊妹，不要上當受騙。 17一切良善的施予和完美的恩賜都是從天上，從眾光之父那裡來的。祂不像轉動的影子變幻無常。 18祂按照自己的旨意，藉著真道重生了我們，使我們在祂所造的萬物之中好像初熟的果實。
19我親愛的弟兄姊妹，請記住：每個人都要快快地聽，慢慢地說，慢慢地動怒。 20因為人的憤怒不能成就上帝的公義。 21所以你們要除去所有的污穢和一切的惡習，謙卑地領受那已經栽種在你們心裡、能救你們靈魂的真道。
22你們要行道，不要只是聽道，自己欺騙自己。 23因為人聽道而不行道，就像照鏡子一樣， 24看過後就走了，隨即忘記了自己的容貌。 25但詳細查考那使人得自由的全備律法並且持之以恆的人，不是聽了就忘，而是身體力行，這樣的人必在他所行的事上蒙福。