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This letter is from James. I am a servant owned by God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I greet the twelve family groups of the Jewish nation living in many parts of the world.

Take Hope When Tests Come

My Christian brothers, you should be happy when you have all kinds of tests. You know these prove your faith. It helps you not to give up. Learn well how to wait so you will be strong and complete and in need of nothing.

If you do not have wisdom, ask God for it. He is always ready to give it to you and will never say you are wrong for asking. You must have faith as you ask Him. You must not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like a wave which is pushed around by the sea. Such a man will get nothing from the Lord. The man who has two ways of thinking changes in everything he does.

A Christian brother who has few riches of this world should be happy for what he has. He is great in the eyes of God. 10 But a rich man should be happy even if he loses everything. He is like a flower that will die. 11 The sun comes up with burning heat. The grass dries up and the flower falls off. It is no longer beautiful. The rich man will die also and all his riches will be gone. 12 The man who does not give up when tests come is happy. After the test is over, he will receive the crown of life. God has promised this to those who love Him.

God Does Not Tempt Us

13 When you are tempted to do wrong, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God cannot be tempted. He will never tempt anyone. 14 A man is tempted to do wrong when he lets himself be led by what his bad thoughts tell him to do. 15 When he does what his bad thoughts tell him to do, he sins. When sin completes its work, it brings death.

16 My Christian brothers, do not be fooled about this. 17 Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God. He is the One Who made all light. He does not change. No shadow is made by His turning. 18 He gave us our new lives through the truth of His Word only because He wanted to. We are the first children in His family.

19 My Christian brothers, you know everyone should listen much and speak little. He should be slow to become angry. 20 A man’s anger does not allow him to be right with God. 21 Put out of your life all that is unclean and wrong. Receive with a gentle spirit the Word that was taught. It has the power to save your souls from the punishment of sin.

22 Obey the Word of God. If you hear only and do not act, you are only fooling yourself. 23 Anyone who hears the Word of God and does not obey is like a man looking at his face in a mirror. 24 After he sees himself and goes away, he forgets what he looks like. 25 But the one who keeps looking into God’s perfect Law and does not forget it will do what it says and be happy as he does it. God’s Word makes men free.

26 If a person thinks he is religious, but does not keep his tongue from speaking bad things, he is fooling himself. His religion is worth nothing. 27 Religion that is pure and good before God the Father is to help children who have no parents and to care for women whose husbands have died who have troubles. Pure religion is also to keep yourself clean from the sinful things of the world.

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