My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; ~James 1:2
Joy is the inner disposition of utmost happiness, contentment, and satisfaction. It is a fruit of the Spirit. Jesus said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Nehemiah said, “The joy of the LORD is your strength.” David said, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” We think of joy when the good times roll. However, the Lord wants us to know that joy—all joy—is possible during extreme circumstances. Let us see this morning how we can count it all joy in the midst of trials.
We see the reality.
James did not have to discuss what trials are. The people he was writing to were in the midst of trials. Trials are real in everyone’s life. They are definite. It is not a matter of if I will have a trial, but when the trial will come. They are God’s divine appointments for the maturing of our faith. They are difficult. Trials make us worry. Trials make us weep. Trials teach us to wait. They are diverse. They come in different shapes and sizes. Sometimes, we might have one extreme trial. Other times, we could have more than one trial going on at one time. The point of the matter is that trials are real for all of us.
We see the response.
James said, “Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” We must resolve to rejoice. We are called to have the mindset that we will be joyful, thankful, and content when we have trials. I encourage my church members to thank the Lord immediately for the trial that He places in their life. The phrase “count it” is also translated “governor,” or “rule,” implying a leadership capacity. We should make it a rule to rejoice. A joyful spirit indicates you are not letting the trial control your spirit and attitude. It implies you are taking the lead with regards to your disposition and not letting the trial take you down. We must be replete with rejoicing. All joy means being completely possessed and filled with joy. All joy is looking to Jesus, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
We see the result.
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” We really do not learn and acquire patience without trials. Paul said, “Tribulation worketh patience.” He also said that we approve ourselves to God in much patience. He prayed that we might be "strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness." Patience teaches us to be still. Patience teaches us to be steadfast. Patience teaches us sense. Patience is God’s way of developing us in godliness. Without trials, our faith will not be stretched. Without trials, our faith will not be strong. Patience must have its perfect work. This perfect work is that we are more like Jesus. Impatience leads us to make decisions that we later regret. Impatience shows immaturity and the unwillingness to see the bigger picture. Patience results in experience; and experience, hope. We pray better when our faith is tried. We are more attentive to God’s Word when we are tried. All joy enables us to bear with the trial and to patiently see the good work that God is doing in us.
It's up to you how to respond when trials come. Follow James' counsel and count it all joy!
Have a rejoicing God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Luke 2-3