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James  ◦   Chapter 5

1Now, those of you who have strayed from the path of love and have pursued self-advancement through riches can start crying and grieving because a terrible pain is coming.2Your riches will erode, and your fine clothes will become rags.3Your hoarded gold and silver are toxic: their poison corrupts–eating away your character like fire consumes flesh. Right up to the end, you selfishly take to increase your net worth.4The reality of what you have done–cheating your workers out of their wages–has warped your character and speaks out against you. The Lord Almighty has heard the cries of those you have injured.5Selfishly, you indulged your every pleasure, but all you accomplished was to feed and worsen your terminal condition,6and then you blamed the innocent and healthy for it. You murdered people who did nothing to you.

7Brothers and sisters, be patient. Wait for the Lord to come back. Consider the farmer, how he patiently waits for autumn and spring rains, and then for the crops to grow.8Don't get discouraged, but stay compliant with God's plan, because the Lord's return draws closer every day.9And don't harbor hostility toward others; to do so reveals how sick your own heart is. The One who diagnoses correctly is just outside the door.

10Brothers and sisters, if you need an example of endurance when times are tough, remember God's spokespersons who presented the truth about God.11We all know that those who persevere get well and are happy. You know about Job's perseverance and what the Lord finally did. That's because God genuinely cares and compassionately seeks to heal and restore.

12Most importantly, be honest and truthful. Don’t attempt to trick people or manipulate others by invoking various oaths or calling on heaven, or earth, or anything else. Be so honorable that your Yes always means Yes, and your No always means No; otherwise your mind will be warped, and your character debased.

13Is anyone in trouble? Talk to God about it. Is anyone happy? Sing songs of praise.14If anyone is sick, be sure to call the spiritual leaders to ask God to intervene, and to treat you with appropriate medicinals — such as applying soothing oil — working in harmony with God's design, methods and principles.15After asking God to intervene, trust him enough to follow his methods and principles. This will heal the character, and if it is in harmony with the Lord's plan, result in making the sick physically well; and the Lord will raise them up. If the illness is due to willful deviation from God's design, it won't matter once trust in God is restored and the ill are well again.16So be sure to admit to one another where you have deviated from God's design, and request God's intervention and treatment plan for each other, so that you may be healed. The request of a person who lives in unity with God is powerful and effective.

17Elijah was a man who lived in union with God. He understood God's methods and what God was trying to accomplish, so he earnestly asked God to hold back the rain, and it didn't rain for three and a half years.18Later, when the time was right to accomplish God's plan, he asked God to send rain, and the sky poured down rain; and the earth produced its crops.

19My brothers and sisters, if a person walks away from God's treatment plan, you should do all you can to bring them back.20For whoever turns a selfish person from the terminal path of self-indulgence will be delivered from death and make irrelevant a multitude of self-destructive acts.