I find it hard to let go of reading this book. There's good strong teaching here, and a love for the religious elite who had come to faith. Religious leaders need this book as much today as ever.
To experience the exhilaration of true freedom, you and I will first need to learn and master restraint, self-control. True freedom is found—quixotically, counterintuitively—in full surrender to the sovereignty of God.
Both suffering and joy are experienced within the presence of God. Jesus set the example, noted in all the gospels as regularly taking time to be with the Father. All the apostles stood together in their teaching, urging believers to commune with God through all of life’s experiences.
I doubt James intended to imply that patient forbearance will restore fortunes. Instead, the end of his letter points back to the beginning. Patient forbearance is the rich soil in which the implanted seed can bear fruit, producing an abundant harvest of godliness.
Every situation in life potentially includes a struggle between our own interests and the Lord’s.
Submission, especially to the sovereignty of God, is something you and I often do not (at least initially) think we will like. And, you and I may also balk at the call to self-control. It seems like a battle of wills, does it not?
Obedience of faith is expressed in exercising great discipline in the power of the Holy Spirit, completely obedient to God’s word, which includes the law and even more, beginning with the law of love.
I have heard people complain about James’ epistle, claiming it is all about works, about legalism, about human effort seeking to attain godliness, about pressure to produce a holiness that in reality is only accomplished through the divine work of the Holy Spirit.
A wise person lives in humility, submitting their life to God, allowing the Holy Spirit to inform and conform their thoughts, their feelings and thereby their words and actions.
When the jumper chooses to abide by the constraint of their parachute they are genuinely free, now, to enjoy the exhilaration of flying.