About this letter
This is a good example of a general letter, because it is addressed to Christians scattered throughout the Roman Empire. Though written as a letter, it is more like a short book of instructions for daily living.
For James faith means action! In fact, the entire book is a series of examples that show faith in action in wise and practical ways.
His advice was clear and to the point: If you are poor, don't despair! Don't give up when your faith is being tested. Don't get angry quickly. Don't favour the rich over the poor. Do good things for others. Control your tongue and desires. Surrender to God and rely on his wisdom. Resist the devil. Don't boast about what you are going to do. If you are rich, use your money to help the poor. Be patient and kind, and pray for those who need God's help.
A quick look at this letter
1. Greetings (1.1)
2. A life of faith and wisdom (1.2–18)
3. Hearing and obeying God's message (1.19–27)
4. Don't favour the rich and powerful (2.1–13)
5. Faith and works (2.14–26)
6. Wisdom and words (3.1–18)
7. Warning against friendship with the world (4.1—5.6)
8. Patience, kindness, and prayer (5.7–20)