James 1:1-12

Talks for Growing Christians

Testing a Believer’s Faith

James 1:1-12

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Lesson Number 1

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The testing of our faith results in maturity.
  2. The testing of our faith results in reward.

Practical Application

  1. We can be wise if we wish.


  1. Who is the author of the book of James? What else do we know about him?
  2. Did James always believe in Jesus as the Christ?
  3. How does James refer to himself?
  4. How is the deity of Christ implied in James 1:1?
  5. To whom was the epistle of James written?
  6. Is the content of this epistle limited to its specific audience?


  1. James, the half brother of Jesus. He was a leader in the church of Jerusalem, and who presided over the first church council held in Jerusalem
  2. No. See John 7:5. But there came a change of heart and James became a believer.
  3. He humbly refers to himself as a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  4. The Lord Jesus is put on the same level as God Himself, because Jesus is God.
  5. “To the twelve tribes scattered abroad.” These would be Jewish believers who were dispersed throughout the Roman Empire.
  6. No. The content of this epistle can be applied to all believers throughout time.


  1. Refer to James 1:3-4. “The testing of your faith results in maturity.” The idea in the phrase, “perfect and complete,” is maturity. If you want to be a mature Christian, then thank the Lord for trials and tribulations which test your faith. It is impossible to be a mature believer apart from trials. You can be joyful in trials because you know that God is in control, and that whatever trial you face, it is not by chance. God uses each trial to test your faith so that your faith will become stronger and you will mature as a believer. Sometimes it may seem to stretch you beyond what you can take, but God will never allow you to be tested beyond what you are able to bear. See 1 Corinthians 10:13. How are you responding to your trials?
  2. Refer to James 1:12. The crown of life, the blessing is pronounced upon the one who endures in his faith, not the one who runs away from the trial. So when the trials of faith come your way, don’t play games and pretend that they don’t exist. Rather, endure, persevere, and learn the lessons that God has for you. As you persevere in the testing of your faith, your relationship and appreciation of the Lord’s love and grace is deepened and enlarged in a way that is impossible apart from trial. It is now that you have the privilege of enlarging your cup and thus receiving the crown of life. How much do you love the Lord? Enough to endure the testing of your faith?


  1. Refer to James 1:5. Do you ask God to help you to understand the trials that test your faith? God guarantees an answer if you ask. He will give you insight, wisdom, and understanding as to why He is allowing a certain trial in your life, but you need to ask. You also need to come with the right attitude, not doubting His love, care, and goodness. How wise are you?

Key Verses

  • “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4
  • “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God…and it will be given to him. But ask in faith, with no doubting. James 1:5-6

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