Count it all joy … really?
The book of James has some wonderful and yet difficult lessons, and they start right at the beginning in Chapter 1, verse 2.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
James tells me that I should count it all joy when I am faced with trials. Really? Can I do that?
The trials James mentions here are the troubles and persecution that come from spreading the Gospel. Later, verse 12 talks about temptations we all face while living in this fallen world.
James does not say that the trials themselves are a joy. Rather he says to count or consider them joy. Why should we consider them a joy? Because when we face these kinds of trials we have the opportunity to build our faith, and that is cause for joy. We also have the opportunity to become angry and resentful. It’s our choice.
Another scripture to consider is 1 Thess. 5:18
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”.
So while I’m not thankful for hardships or heartache that may come my way in life, I can be thankful while I’m going through it:
- Thankful in good times and bad
- Thankful for a loving Heavenly Father that I can run to in times of trouble
- Thankful that He cares about my every need
- Thankful for the scriptures and God’s promises that I can stand on
- Thankful for my church family and friends that will pray for me
James 1:3 tells me another benefit from the tests and trials.
Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
Patience — do I really want to be more patient? I have to admit that it’s difficult in our fast-paced, get-it-now world. And I always hated tests, so I ask myself why I need my faith tested.
I thought about the kinds of stress tests that manufactures perform on their products to determine how strong they are or how the product will perform under pressure. These tests are important because they often reveal a weakness where the manufacture needs to make improvements.
The same is true for me. The tests and trials that I go through reveal to me areas where my faith is weak and needs to be improved. And the wonderful thing about this is that I can become stronger — if I want to. I think of it as a kind of spiritual workout, just like a physical workout at the gym. I am not going to try and convince you that working out in the gym is much fun, but you do build up your endurance and strengthen your muscles.
Overcoming trials and temptations is like that, it does make my faith stronger. Each time I have trusted in God, He has always made a way. Because of this I know, I can rely on Him when I’m facing a new problem. So yes, while trials or tests may not be easy, I can count it all joy (especially when I pass the test).
Father, I am thankful that you are there for me. You promise to never leave me. Thank you for helping me through each and every trial. Lord please help me to become better at passing these tests, I want to be an A+ student. Amen
~ Debbie Parlier
Other Scriptures to study:
- Nahum 1:7
- 1 Peter 5:7
- Mark 13:31
- 2 Corinthians 1:2