Thursday, November 2, 2023

 Count It All Joy

Anita Clark, Pastor
Grace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas

“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.

“Count it all joy” or “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren” (AMP). When you fall into divers temptations.” The word “temptations” in the original Greek means, “a putting to the proof.” A temptation is any trial that tempts us to complain or lose faith in Who God is, and is perpetrated by the devil. God allows these trials as tests of faith. “Trials are dynamic – they have the ability to work in us and produce growth and greater trust in Christ.

“The trying of your faith works patience,” means ‘trying or proving” of our faith, that testing period when we must wait upon the Lord for Him to work and change the situation we are enduring. God is so very patient with us, and loves this characteristic of patience in His people. He is constantly working so tirelessly to product this beautiful attribute in our lives.

We are reminded of Romans 5:2-5, where Paul says, “We glory in tribulations…knowing that tribulations 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.” Tribulation is “pressure, anguish, burdens, persecution, or trouble.” Notice Paul ;says, “Knowing” that these things “work” in us. Through experience with the Lord over time, we learn that trials and tests are doing a work in God’s perfect will for us, “changing us from glory to glory “ (II Cor. 3:17). Romans 8:28 is true, “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.”

There are some things that every believer in Christ can positively know that should give us confidence in all our trials and tests. (1) II Cor. 1:7 – “Knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.” (2) Col. 3:24 – “Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance for ye serve the Lord Christ.” (3) Heb. 10:34 – “Kook joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in your selves, that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.” (4) Ps. 118:6 – Knowing that “The Lord is on our side, what can man do unto me?” And as Paul says, “If God be for  us, who can be against  us.” Rom. 8:31.

James 1:4 says, “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire wanting nothing.” “Let endurance and steadfastness have full play and do a thorough work that you may be fully developed (with no defects), lacking nothing” (AMP. Version).

In II Corinthians 4:16-18, Apostle Paul 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, but the things which are snot seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” “We faint not” speaks of failing, being weary and exhausted.

There is no way that we can overcome the trials in our own strength. This is the lesson we must learn. Col. 1:27 says, “Christ in you the hope of glory.” “For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). The “eternal weight of glory” speaks of a “load beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons, and all calculations, a vest and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease.” (AMP. Version). Our part is to let god do the work. 

II Cor. 4:18 says, “While we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen.” The word “look” in the Greek means “to take aim.” Is our “aim set on the trial and the suffering or on the victory and our Lord Jesus Christ. The things of this life, the trials, tests and deaths are just temporary detours. “The things which are seen,” are these “temporal” natural things that only go on for a time before relief comes. “The things which are not seen,” (meaning not seen with our natural eye) are “eternal weights of glory.” There will come a day very soon when He will come again, and we will stand before our Beloved Lord Jesus and enter into the glory there.

Those things we see in Spirit through our Spiritual eyes or vision. Let us press on. The time is short. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us” Romans 8:18.