How do we receive the trials and attacks that come when our faith is pitted against the surrounding culture? James encourages us not to despair but to count it as joy, because those trials test and strengthen our faith so that we may persevere and become more and more mature.
James, the half brother of Jesus, after witnessing Jesus' resurrection, came to understand who Jesus is. James' writings share wisdom around living a life of holiness, and that our faith is evidenced in actions and deeds. The Book of James is a primer on living the Christian life!
God is both knowable (because He has revealed Himself to us) and incomprehensible (because He is so far beyond us). We cannot fully understand how God can be triune (3 in 1), but the truth of the Trinity is found throughout the Bible, both in the Old and the New Testament!
Some see God's insistence on obedience as harsh or legalistic, but our heavenly Father does not desire to see us punished or burdened down with guilt. He is a God of grace, who longs for His wayward children to return to Him in repentance and be welcomed back with open arms!
God in the person of the Holy Spirit dwells in the hearts of all who believe. We do not want to ignore that or brush it off! Many people are afraid of the Holy Spirit and many people think if you start talking about the Holy Spirit then you might become a "fanatic." However, God asks us to seek the Holy Spirit and in return we receive the fullness of His Spirit everyday and He will give us power, encouragement, comfort, strength, direction, peace, purpose... the list goes on!
We are not saved by what we have done, or by how hard we've tried, or by what church we belonged to. Only a perfect sacrifice could pay the price of all our sins. When Jesus went willingly to the cross, He paid that price so that we can now have certain assurance of eternal life!
Is it even possible to praise God, let alone rejoice, when everything around us is going wrong? Believers in the Bible found it not only possible, but essential. As the apostle Paul wrote while suffering in prison, "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." (Philippians 4:4)