I can only imagine the how these words were received by those who heard them. James tells us that he is writing to the "twelve tribes in the Dispersion" which means that the audience of his letter had gone through much. They were Jewish Christians that had been scattered throughout the world by both the Assyrians and Babylonians. They were far from home.
We can resonate with this because as disciples, we also are far from home. Our home, since our adoption as sons and daughters of God, is not here. We have citizenship in a land far from here. We are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. And because we are not home, we go through much. James will help us see why we should count it as all joy.
This weekend we begin to unpack the timeless treasure of the book of James. For five weeks we will listen carefully as people of the Dispersion, finding hope and direction to live a life pleasing to God. See you this weekend!