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Count It All Joy

James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

If you have spent much time studying the New Testament, you are probably aware that most of it, beyond the four gospels, was written to the persecuted Church. Most of the Apostles died for their faith, as did many of the recipients of their letters and writings. Therefore, trials were a way of life. It is unlikely that the New Testament saints spent much time praying for the removal of trials, instead they prayed for strength to stand firm for Christ in the midst of the trials.

In James 1:2, we are exhorted to “…count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” What is a trial? The word for trial means to test, or to prove. Trials are seen through affliction, pain, and suffering. The word “encounter” literally means to fall into the hands of. In other words, trials are those unplanned difficulties that we fall into in the course of our daily lives that can either be used to discourage us, or glorify God.

Why does God allow trials to come to His children? Well, James tells you in James 1:3-4, where he says “…the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Therefore, we can count trials as joy because we know that when God sends trials our way, He is sending them to teach us perseverance and endurance, so that on the other end of the trial, we will be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. In other words, when you face a trial, you can know that God is conspiring through these trials to make you perfect, so that when you stand before Him on the last day, you will stand as sinless as His Son, Jesus.

In other words, God’s grand conspiracy for you is to make you perfect like Jesus.  Since He cannot perfect you through the easy times in life because of your own sinful self-confidence, He uses difficulties as a means of grace to conform you into His image.

Therefore, it is possible for you to …count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

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