There seems to be genuine dichotomy between those who say they are followers of Jesus, thinking of him occasionally, feeling confident of their heavenly reservation, and those whose lives are interwoven with him so completely that no matter what’s going in any given day he is at the forefront of their thoughts and they seek to follow faithfully.
Jms. 5:13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.”
It is when troubles arise that the casual follower thinks of praying, usually in the form of “get me out of this!” I wonder how God feels about that, when he hasn’t heard word one from that individual for ages…
And what about happy times? If relationship with God is a casual thing why would anyone immediately recognize each delight as a gift from the Father and render to him due praise?
I don’t know many saints of God who respond immediately with an attentive-to-God attitude, but I do know some who maintain it, no matter their situation. The degree of joy and peace in which they function is remarkable (as in noticeable). There is room for improvement in each follower.
Throughout James’ letter he clarifies the kind of behavior that proves the possession of genuine faith. Verse 13 continues that clarification to challenge and spur followers on to growth. Saving faith does not result in a casual relationship with God. If that’s what you have, you have reason to question any confidence you have felt regarding your heavenly reservation.