Do you know who James was? He was the son of Mary, a brother to Jesus. James wrote this letter to the scattered Jewish believers to make this point: as expressed by Steven J. Cole, “True faith shows itself in practical, godly living.” While it is hard to have joy in the trial, this is something we must work toward. When we look back, over our pain, over our regret, over our mistakes and missed opportunities, we will find that our joy was given to us by God, and that in the process we were shaped to be more like Jesus. God never promised that this life would be easy, only that He would never leave us nor forsake us. He is refining us with fire so that someday we can stand on streets of gold. Amen!

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