1 Look here, you rich people, weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you.
2 Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags.
3 Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh in hell.* This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment.1
4 For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The wages you held back cry out against you. The cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.
5 You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every whim. Now your hearts are nice and fat, ready for the slaughter.
6 You have condemned and killed good people who had no power to defend themselves against you.
7 Dear brothers and sisters,* you must be patient as you wait for the Lord's return. Consider the farmers who eagerly look for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They patiently wait for the precious harvest to ripen.2
8 You, too, must be patient. And take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.
9 Don't grumble about each other, my brothers and sisters, or God will judge you. For look! The great Judge is coming. He is standing at the door!
10 For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. Job is an example of a man who endured patiently. From his experience we see how the Lord's plan finally ended in good, for he is full of tenderness and mercy.
12 But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned for it.
13 Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord.
14 Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.
15 And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.
17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for the next three and a half years!
18 Then he prayed for rain, and down it poured. The grass turned green, and the crops began to grow again.
19 My dear brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back again,
20 you can be sure that the one who brings that person back will save that sinner from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.
Read 1 Peter 1