I have shared that I am not bothered so much by Scripture that I do not understand. Often it is the clearest Scriptures that I wrestle with. James 1:2 is one such passage.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials”
In my flesh that makes no sense to me. I do not like trials and struggles. There are so many different areas that can bring conflict and discomfort. Relationships with spouses, children, bosses, coworkers, financial woes, gas prices, we can go on and on. “Various trials.”
Count it all joy??? Joy is having supper on the table. Joy is the kids being obedient and respectful. Joy is the boss appreciating your hard work. Joy is your co worker realizing you know what you are doing. Joy is having the mortgage, car and insurance paid and Benjamin’s left over.
Is that really joy or just happiness?
Truly joy is having the peace and mercy of the Lord in your heart.
Why should I be joyful when I am struggling with the issues of life?? One thing I have learned is that I am always closer to the Lord when I am faced with troubles. When the circumstances are beyond my control and I can not see a positive outcome I need help! I need His help. I begin to examine my life style. Am I living as I should or is the Lord using trials to change me? If I need to change I want to change as quickly as possible to get over these trials.
Maybe they are opportunities for me to increase my faith in God. Truly, whatever the various trials are they should be bringing me closer to God. Therefore I SHOULD count it all JOY that God loves me enough to walk with me through the trials. James tells us why we should count it all joy.
1. The testing of our faith produces patience or endurance. v3 I know developing endurance takes work. You can not run a race and expect to win without first having built up your endurance. Paul tells we are in a spiritual race. We had better do all we can to win that race.
2. As we develop our patience/endurance it helps us to become mature and complete, lacking nothing. v4
God is called the God of patience in Romans 15:5. When we grow our patience, we begin to take on a characteristic of our heavenly Father.
3. “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” James 1:12
Why should I be joyful when I am struggling with the issues of life?? Because it makes my God and Father smile.
When I patiently develop my spiritual endurance it helps prepare me for my eternal destiny. I do not have to like the process of going through troubles but I should be far sighted enough to realize that the benefit far outweighs the costs.
I can and should be joyful in the midst of various trials because I will see God as more patient and loving towards me.
“we count them blessed who endure. (that can be you and me) You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord” James 5:11
We never know what lays beyond our trials. God always wants the best for us. When we allow Him to move in our lives He will bring us to eternity mature and fruitful. By faith, we must stand and say
“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid;
‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ ” Isaiah 12:2
I can be joyful because I have been redeemed by the Prince of Peace, Who, as an example, was joyful in harsher trials than I experience.
“Therefore ….let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy” that was set before Him endured the cross Heb 12:1-2
We all like the “mountain top experiences” but we need to learn to appreciate our trials and the work they produce in us. It becomes a struggle when we resist the lessons.
Finally Peter tells why we should have joy.
In this you greatly rejoice……… you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ 1 Peter1:6-7