Today we sew up the Book of James with Chapter 5 and see how James brings his thoughts full circle at the end of his letter.
Suffering from a poor chapter break, we again will try to show how this book really has a cohesive message. James seems to continually switch gears on us. But ultimately these thoughts are all related.
The Book begins with how to persevere affliction through faith. This escalates into his discussion about how real faith (one with fruit) is actually required before it can persevere. He contrasts a living faith to one that is solely focused on religious performances and the appearance of righteousness. This then requires him to to talk about hypocrisy, desiring worldly attention, judging one another, and self-promoting talk. Now in Chapter 5 he turns his focus on the rich who have been venerated so much by the recipients of this letter. Then coming back to perseverance, he juxtaposes what he has been teaching against true fellowship. What it means to be united in faith. What it means to care for one another, pray for one another, and sacrifice for each other.
Which is ultimately the answer to the question of how we can count it all joy when we suffer. Because we lovingly do it together.