James’ letter is eye opening to the causation of attitudes. It is in us that the attitude changes, not the circumstances. James tells us to “consider it all joy” James 1:2, and by “all” he means our circumstances. If you get a flat tire, should you automatically become frustrated? You cannot control your tire’s inflation level, but you can control your attitude. Maybe the flat tire is God telling you to slow down, who knows?
James also says that the circumstances of our life is a test of our faith. If your character is the only thing you can bring to heaven, then maybe we should all be grateful of the trials of our lives. James says that these trials produce endurance, but endurance through faith. You have to recognise what is really going on, you have to remember that our plans are not always God’s plans, and honestly, whose matter more?
James then asks us to let our endurance do its work. When we become aware of our attitude in circumstances we also become aware of ourselves. After a long day of work you may snap at your children or your wife or husband because all you want to do is sit in a chair with your feet up. But it is not their fault you feel this way, it is the circumstances overcoming you. You must overcome the circumstance by endurance of faith. these trials let us know where we are weak, we do we snap? when does our anger flare? why does that irritate us? the big question: what is it about me that makes my attitude adjust negatively to circumstances? God wants us to prepare for the new earth by building our character.
Be aware. Begin to think. Learn to love.