Count it all JOY: James 1:2
Updated: Jul 4, 2019
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptation.
James doesn't waste any time in getting down to the nitty-gritty in his letter to the twelve tribes of Israel, and his opening exhortation is a challenge most of us would deem easier said than done. He tells us to be joyful when we face temptation, which seems like a counter-intuitive response, but fortunately we know that God equips us with everything we need to obey His Word's instructions.
The dictionary's take on the word "tempt" is: to feel, to try, to stretch, or to make a trial of. James' use of the word "temptation" in this verse refers to the tests or trials we face in day-to-day life that stretch us beyond our comfortable boundaries and put our faith on trial. These tests can be Satan's attempts to throw us off track, or just the side-effects of living in a fallen world, but God allows them sometimes as His way of feeling out our faith. How deep is it, really? How far does it go? How long will we really cling to our commitment before giving up and running back to whatever we're offered by the world?
These tests are meant to stretch us, yes, but ultimately to strengthen us. In choosing Christ we can be assured of times of inevitable hardship, but James tells us that we must find JOY in the trials that come our way, because we know the nature of God, and that He has our good in mind. Always.
Joy: "the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires".
Well-being~ I am safe and secure in God's hands, and He is my comfort and protector through whatever I may face.
Success~ The Bible tells us that the Christian walk is difficult, and if it feels too easy, well . . . it might mean we have work to do. Trials, difficult as they are, can be an affirmation that we're doing something right!
Good Fortune~ Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Desire~ I know and have hope that God will grant me the victory and freedom I desire in His time.
I LOVE this definition. It made me love this verse all the more and it is such an encouragement to me. We can find joy in the trials we face, because God is still in control, still with us, and still good, and He is our reason to rejoice!
Mish, Frederick C. Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. 9th ed., Merriam-Webster Inc., 1983.