Count it all joy... Tony. 8.16.20 James 1:2. Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds Faith is such a vital matter to the child of God that it must be put to the test, first to prove it is genuine and second to purge and strengthen it, someone has said. Faith is demonstrated in reaction to adversity. Sadly, many break down under the testings of life. Adverse situations are to be expected but many times we are blind sided by them. James says consider them pure joy. How in the world do we do that? We tend to compare the positives against the negatives. Should we even focus on the negatives? Not according to James. Pain is bad though. How do we handle that and still have a joyous attitude? - Focus on the product of these trials rather than the pain that we endure as we experience them. In order to do that, our outlook has to be focused on the spiritual realm, not the physical. We live in a broken world. The language in James 1:2 contains a sense of urgency and an action that must be taken. Count it all joy, consider it all joy, deem, regard. It calls for a mental evaluation. You have to deliberate on the situation and then choose joy as your attitude - pure joy i.e. it is unmixed with other emotions.
- Renewing of the mind, Romans 12:2. Col. 3 talks about this as well, as far as setting our affections on the things above. How many of us can honestly say we consider it pure joy when going through a trial? One reason? We have lived very pampered lives in this country. News bulletin - you will not feel 100% all of the time.
Three things we should focus on when we are in the throes of a trial, three things that focus on the product, focus on the spiritual and renew our mind. 1. Trust . When we are driven to trust, trials are a good thing to us. Our faith is strengthened. We realize there is a higher purpose for being faced with trials.
2. Character is enriched. Listen to God in the midst of the storm. No matter the scope of the trial, we need to see opportunity. Let’s look at it from a different perspective.
3. Heaven. There is a reward. We will be blessed by persevering. Once you have been approved you will receive the crown of righteousness. What awaits us is greater and more magnificent than any reward of any type here on earth. That is a promise from God. 1 Pet. 1:3-9. Peter has the same message as James, He speaks of glorious joy, of the reward reserved in heaven for each of us. The distress of a trial is understandable, the pain is real. But we need to change our perspective and focus. Peter says, even if we are distressed for a short while by various trials, we rejoice with joy inexpressible as we obtain as the outcome of our faith, the salvation of our souls. The devil uses oppression and obsession to rob us of our joy. What will you liken the kingdom of heaven to? It is like a pearl of great price. If you are going through a trial, you have a hidden treasure, a pearl of great price. You have a relationship with the God of the universe and His Son, our Savior. James isn’t saying laugh off your pain. He is saying we need a deep seated confidence that God knows what He is doing and that the results of our pain will be for my good and my glory.
God will never disappoint.