Bible Study Passage: James 1. We all find in our lives that our patience is stretched. In this study, we’re looking at two sides of patience: Patience through situations, and patience with people. James 1 seems to turn everything on its head. For instance, we’re called to rejoice in the face of trials and taking pride in humble circumstances. We can learn a lot from even this one chapter. Here’s the main excerpt taken from the NIV:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their ownevil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Patience through situations
- Read Verse 2-6. Name some attitude traits that the passage is teaching us to have during trials. How do you think it would feel to attempt this?
- Read Verse 9-11. When we’re in humble circumstances, why is this considered a high position in verse 9?
Patience With People
- Read Verse 19-21. What is human, or man’s anger? How does this tie into the subject of patience? Further Reading: Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:1-5
- Bonus Round: Back to James 1:12. What do we have to look forward to? What possible rewards do we receive on Earth, and in Heaven?