COUNT IT ALL JOY
Pastor Anita Clark – Carbondale, Kansas
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. James 1:2-3
What does it mean to “count” it, our trials and tests “all joy?” The Greek word for “count” means “to command with official authority, to govern, judge or have rule over.” This Scripture says to do this “when we fall into divers temptations.” There is no way a believer can do this in their own strength. It requires a total reliance upon the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s power.
The word “temptations” in the Greek means “a putting to the proof.” The trials of life prove where we have our confidence - either in ourselves (which always fails) or in the Lord for strength. The tests and trials will come, but there’s victory in Jesus. These tests are - any trial that tempts us to complain or lose faith in Who God is. Notice there are “divers temptations.” Your trials are not like mine and mine not like yours, but God has allowed each trial to come to perfect our faith. He is the wise Master-builder (I Cor. 3:10). He knows exactly what it will take in our particular case, so He deals with us as individuals.
“Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” This is one of those thing mentioned in the Word of God that we can know. God is not allowing these tests to punish us, but to help us to grow. God loves patience - it’s one of His divine characteristics, so when we say, “I want to be like Jesus,” trials will come to work those traits in our lives. “Trying” of faith is sort of like exercising a muscle. The more the muscle is contracted, the more developed it gets. The more we exercise our faith the greater our confidence grows in the Lord. The Amplified version say of vs. 3 - “Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.”
In Romans 5:2-5 we read, “By Whom (Christ) also we, have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations (GK. “pressure, persecution, anguish, trouble”) also; knowing that tribulation works patience.” Patience is the trait produced in the believer’s life which is so much like God Himself. The process of the work God wants to do in our lives is endurable because as patience works experience (Vs. 4) and then experience works hope, and hope makes not ashamed, “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
James 1:4 says, “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” God lets us have a choice. The Amplified version says, “Let endurance and steadfastness have full play and do a thorough work that you may be fully developed (with no defects), lacking nothing.” We can choose to let God have His way in our lives, or we can rebel against the work of the Lord. The Potter has to work roughly with the clay at times to bring forth exactly what He pictures in his mind to be the best outcome for that particular piece of clay. The first thing the potter does is to slam the clay on the work surface to “wedge” the clay. Then, the work begins on the wheel. The Master Potter is so very talented in working with the clay, and the outcome is just like magic to behold. How precious to give our will over to the Master for His molding of our lives as He chooses, not what we choose. Perfect submission - that’s what He desires, for He knows what is best.
II Corinthians 4:16-18 says, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen; for the things which are not seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Our lifetime is just a moment compared to eternity. The work that the Lord is doing in our lives will one day bring “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Again I quote the Amplified Version, Vs. 17 “weight of glory- “beyond all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!” We cannot fathom what is in store for those who love Christ with all their hearts and lives.
He is coming very soon for His Bride, who has yielded her all to His working and is faithfully watching and waiting for Him. Will you be in that number when the first trumpet rings out? That is my desire, is it yours? Our part is to “Let Him” and Yield to Him.” He has promised in Philippians 213, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good Pleasure.”