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
2 My brothers and sisters, you will face all kinds of trouble. When you do, think of it as pure joy. 3 Your faith will be tested. You know that when this happens it will produce in you the strength to continue. 4 And you must allow this strength to finish its work. Then you will be all you should be. You will have everything you need. 5 If 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. 6 But 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. 7 They shouldn’t expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 This kind of person can’t make up their mind. They can never decide what to do.
9 Here’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. 10 But rich people should take pride in their low positions. That’s because they will fade away like wild flowers. 11 The 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.
12 Blessed 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.
13 When 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. 14 But each person is tempted by their own evil desires. These desires lead them on and drag them away. 15 When these desires are allowed to remain, they lead to sin. And when sin is allowed to remain and grow, it leads to death.
16 My dear brothers and sisters, don’t let anyone fool you. 17 Every 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. 18 God 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
19 My 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. 20 Human anger doesn’t produce the holy life God wants. 21 So 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.
22 Don’t just listen to the word. You fool yourselves if you do that. You must do what it says. 23 Suppose 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. 24 After looking at themselves, they leave. And right away they forget what they look like. 25 But 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.
26 Suppose 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. 27 Here 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.
1Kutoka kwa Yakobo, mtumishi wa Mungu na wa Bwana Yesu Kristo. Kwa makabila kumi na mawili yaliyotawanyika ulimwenguni. Salamu:
Imani Na Hekima
2 Ndugu wapendwa, mnapopatwa na majaribu mbalimbali, yahesab uni kuwa ni furaha tupu. 3 Kwa maana mnafahamu ya kuwa kujaribiwa kwa imani yenu hujenga ustahimilivu. 4 Na ustahimilivu ukimaliza kazi yake mtakuwa wakamilifu pasipo kupungukiwa na cho chote.
5 Lakini kama mtu ye yote kati yenu akipungukiwa na hekima, basi na amwombe Mungu, ambaye huwapa watu wote kwa ukarimu pasipo kulaumu, naye atapewa. 6 Lakini aombe kwa imani pasipo shaka yo yote; maana mwenye mashaka ni kama wimbi la bahari ambalo husu kumwa na upepo, likitupwa huku na huku. 7 Mtu kama huyo asidhani atapata kitu cho chote kutoka kwa Bwana; 8 kwa maana yeye ni mtu mwenye nia mbili asiyekuwa na msimamo katika jambo lo lote.
Umaskini Na Utajiri
9 Ndugu asiye na cheo afurahi kwa sababu Bwana amemtukuza; 10 na tajiri afurahi anaposhushwa kwa maana atatoweka kama ua la mwituni. 11 Maana jua huchomoza na kwa mionzi yake mikali hukausha mimea, na maua yake huanguka na uzuri wake hupotea. Vivyo hivyo tajiri naye atafifia akiwa katika shughuli zake.
12 Amebarikiwa mtu ambaye anavumilia majaribu, kwa sababu akisha stahimili atapewa taji ya uzima ambayo Mungu amewaahidi wale wampendao. 13 Mtu akijaribiwa asiseme, “Ninajaribiwa na Mungu,” kwa maana Mungu hajaribiwi na uovu na yeye hamjaribu mtu ye yote. 14 Lakini kila mtu hujaribiwa anapovutwa na kudanganywa na tamaa yake mwenyewe. 15 Kisha tamaa hiyo ikisha chukua mimba, huzaa dhambi; na dhambi ikisha komaa, huzaa mauti.
16 Ndugu zangu wapendwa, msidanganywe. 17 Kila kipawa chema na kila zawadi kamilifu hutoka mbinguni, ikishuka kutoka kwa Baba wa nuru za mbinguni ambaye habadiliki kama kivuli. 18 Kwa kupenda kwake mwenyewe alituzaa kwa neno la kweli, kusudi tuwe kama mavuno ya kwanza katika viumbe vyake.
Kusikia Na Kutenda
19 Ndugu wapendwa, fahamuni jambo hili: kila mtu awe mwepesi wa kusikia, bali si mwepesi wa kusema wala kukasirika. 20 Maana hasira ya mwanadamu haitendi haki ya Mungu. 21 Kwa hiyo epukeni uchafu wote na uovu ambao umeenea, mkapokee kwa unyenyekevu lile neno lililopandwa mioyoni mwenu ambalo linaweza kuokoa nafsi zenu.
22 Basi muwe watendaji wa neno na wala msiwe wasikilizaji tu, ambao wanajidanganya wenyewe. 23 Kwa maana kama mtu ni msi kilizaji tu wa neno na wala hatekelezi alilosikia, atafanana na mtu ajitazamaye uso wake katika kioo, 24 na baada ya kujiona alivyo, huenda zake na mara moja husahau anavyofanana. 25 Lakini mtu anayeangalia kwa makini katika sheria kamilifu, ile sheria iletayo uhuru, na akaendelea kufanya hivyo bila kusahau alichosi kia, bali akakitekeleza, atabarikiwa katika kile anachofanya.
26 Mtu akidhani kuwa ana dini na huku hautawali ulimi wake, anajidanganya mwenyewe na dini yake ni bure. 27 Dini iliyo safi, isiyo na uchafu mbele za Mungu Baba, ndio hii: kuwasaidia yatima na wajane katika dhiki zao, na kujilinda mwenyewe usichafuliwe na ulimwengu.