The Book of James is unlike any other book in the New Testament. An important theme, obvious in the first few verses, is the presence of trials in the life of a believer.
John MacArthur preached through the book of James back in 1986. He gives a helpful introduction to this theme of trials as testing:
Whether it’s gold or silver or precious metals, whether it’s diamonds, precious stones or money, anything that is in and of itself of intrinsic value is subjected to testing to affirm its true worth. And the most valuable commodity in all the world is the commodity of eternal salvation. It is priceless. It is of highest value.
To have a right relationship with the living God is to possess the most valuable thing in existence. And all those people who believe they have that possession should subject that to a process of testing to determine its validity. There are people, you know, all over the world who if asked whether they have salvation would reply “yes,” but who are wrong.
True salvation needs to be subject to examination, subject to testing. That is a biblical concept, the testing of salvation is throughout Scripture called for.
Read the whole sermon.