James and Paul appear to contradict each other because they use the same vocabulary: faith, works and justification. Plus they both appeal to Abraham. But they use the same language in very different contexts to address different problems and answer different questions.
God has identified the real problem in our lives and the only solution. But we easily deceive ourselves. The real issue is how are you going to respond to this message? Are you willing to hear God out?
The poor believer will be exalted. The rich unbeliever will be humiliated. It may seem the other way around right now, but if you understand the gospel, it should change your perspective.
When did we learn that all hardship is harmful, that every unknown is dangerous, and that even the tiniest failure must be avoided? It is a logical conclusion if we alone are responsible for everything, but James would say otherwise.
Why would the God I’m counting on to me from my sin put me in a position where my faith is under fire? Is James serious about being joyful in the midst of hardships?