We are to rejoice under the cross, 1-4; to ask patience of God, 5-12; and in our trials not to impute our weakness or sins to him, 13-18, but rather to listen to the word, meditate on it, and be doers of it, 19-25. Otherwise men may seem, but never be, truly religious, 26, 27.
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.
2 My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations, 3 Knowing that the trying of your faith works patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work so that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally and without reproach, and it shall be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he who wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let that man not think that he shall receive anything from the Lord. 8 A man unsettled in his opinions is unstable in all his ways.
9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted, 10 And the rich in that he is made low because he shall pass away as a flower of the grass. 11 For the sun arose with its burning heat and withered the grass. Its flower fell and the grace of its fashion perished. Likewise also, the rich man shall fade away in his ways.
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation. For when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does he tempt any man. 14 But every man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin. And sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will he has begotten us with the word of truth so that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.
19 Therefore, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath, 20 For the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, lay apart all filthiness and overflow of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he beholds himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what manner of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, not being a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
26 If any man among you seems to be religious and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Matthew Henry Commentary - James, Chapter 1[➚]
[v.3] - Reference, Acts 14:22.
[v.12] - Reference, Acts 14:22.