James on Trial

Help Understanding Hardships

Why I Wrote This Book

Written By: Ray - Aug• 21•09

Around ten  years  ago, I  experienced an event that, for me, was devastating! The particulars are not significant because few of us ever experience exactly the same circumstances.In this time of devastation, I cried, I prayed, I sought for others who would agree with me that my experience was, indeed the worst thing that ever happened to anyone on God’s green earth! But someone (source long since forgotten) once made a statement that, for me, has proven to be true: “You cannot pray your way out of depression.” The more I told God how bad my situation was, the more I came to conclude that it was even worse than I had thought previously. It was a spiral that kept digging deeper into despair.

When I read the Bible, I found myself highlighting the verses that seemed to say, “woe is me.” Then I read a verse telling me that I should consider it “pure joy” when I face a lot of different kinds of troubles. (James 1:2) It conflicted with everything that I was holding on to. I certainly was not feeling any joy! I had read this verse before and I probably had related it to the verse in Nehemiah (8:10) that says “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” But now, with my pain (and self-pity) running so deep, it was more difficult to accept that it related to me.

The conflict that arose from reading that verse led me to a deeper study of what James had to say about severe trials. I could not find an appropriate explanation for that verse or for some other verses in the Book of James – especially in light of some of  the things taught by the popular TV teachers. I spent a lot of time in study, researching, praying & meditating.  (I continue to do so since I do not claim to have any “absolute” answers.) But when I felt that I had found an answer to one problematic verse, it only confused my understanding of others.

In light of these things, I have come to the conclusion that, although – on its face – the four pages of the Book of James seems to be simple enough, the Book is actually one of the most theologically complex, and perhaps one of the most misunderstood books in the Bible. So I have determined to continue my quest for truth. And, as I develop a greater understanding of what God has to say in the Book of James, I will record those findings in this present work. I hope you will find it helpful as you “face many kinds of trials”- as well as when you find yourself on the mountaintop.


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