James 1:2-4 – Consider it All Joy
All of us encounter trials in life. The Bible admonishes us to consider it all joy when we fall into “diverse” or various trials and testings. The key to being able to count it all joy is knowing that God will ultimately work it out for our good.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4).
Divers (Diverse) Temptations
Literally, many colored or many kinds. The trials and testing of life come in many different forms and types, from financial, to physical, to relationship problems, emotional distress, mental anguish, spiritual attacks and even going through a spiritual drought or dray spell.
It is best exemplified in Joseph’s coat of many colors. Joseph’s coat was a picture of the testings he was about to encounter (Genesis 37-50). He was attached and rejected by his brothers because of their jealousy, sold into slavery, falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife who tried to seduce him and thrown into prison. His early life was a difficult one, but God ultimately turned it to good (Romans 8:28).
When You Fall into Diverse Temptations
The question is not if we fall into divers temptations or trials but when. They will come. You can count on it. If haven’t fallen into a time of trial and testing, be patient it will come. The good news is that their is a duration to most trials we will encounter. Peter said,
“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though NOW FOR A SEASON, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
It will come to an end sooner or later. Joseph’s time of testing eventually came to an end and the result was his elevation to second command of all Egypt. He answered to Pharaoh and him alone. “God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 5:20). Likewise, the Lord will turn our every testing into good account if we will but give it into His hands, trust Him, and remain faithful.
Count it all Joy
This is best exemplified in the life of Paul and Silas in the Philippi (Acts 16:16-40). How were they able to count it all joy? Can we learn anything from their experience? They no doubt were not thrilled with or in their situation. It wasn’t a joyful. They had to “count it all joy.” There was no reason whatsoever in the natural to be joyful. To have any kind of joy we must in faith consider it joy, even though seeing no cause to be joyful.
Knowledge brings power over and in every situation of life. In the most devastating of circumstances, what we know can determine our ultimate experience and outcome. Paul, I’m sure writing out of his own experience said,
“And not only so, but we glory (boast, exult) in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3-5).
Things We Must Know
- Healing to the soul – Proverbs 17:22.
- Comfort in our waste place – Isaiah 52:9.
- Cleansing and forgiveness – Psalms 32:10-11.
- Fellowship with God – Isaiah 35:10.
- See Jesus – 1 Peter 1:6-8.
- Well of salvation – Isaiah 12:3.
- Enemies scattered – Psalm 68:1-3.
- Ultimate outcome – James 1:2-4.
- Knowing. Knowing is “ginosko” and refers to experiential knowledge not simply knowing facts. Paul said, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death (Philippians 3:10).
It’s our personal, deep rooted, experiential knowledge of Jesus that enables us to “count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations.” It’s because of our personal relationship with Him we are able to experience joy in adversity.
- Patience. Patience is “hypomone.” It doesn’t mean patiently taking everything that life throws at us as a victim of our circumstances, simply allowing things to beat us down.
Rather, it’s an endurance that causes us to continue pressing on with undaunted determination in spite of what life throws at us. Never giving in to or buckling under our test, but plowing through it.
- Lacking nothing. The confidence that the end product will be that we are “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” Conformity to Christ is the goal! The end result of our trial will be that we are more like Jesus.
“For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).