Home > James, James 1, Jesus, Joy, maturity, trials > Count It All Joy?

Count It All Joy?

James 1:1-4 (NIV):
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
Greetings.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

I believe James teaches us three powerful lessons in this short passage of Scripture:

1) It is all about Jesus.

It is believed that James was the half brother of Jesus, yet he associates himself to Jesus by calling himself his servant. I am not sure about you, but if my older brother had the power to heal the sick, bring people back from the dead, change water into wine, and defeat the grave I would milk that fame for all its worth. James however realized that when it came down to it his earthly relationship to Jesus really was not that important. I believe that when each of us kills the part of us that desires fame and recognition for what we do we will be able to develop a mindset of giving all credit and glory to God. When everything becomes about Jesus then it becomes less about me.

2) Trials are an opportunity for growth.
From a worldly perspective this is really an ignorant statement. Who in their right mind is thinking about joy when they lose a job, going through a divorce, or been the victim of a violent crime. I believe James is trying to teach us that our mistakes or the negative situations that we go through can be a blessing in disguise. How could you ever comfort someone who is dealing with a disease if you have not experienced yourself? How could you talk to someone who just lost a child if you have not been through that situation already. James is not saying that it will be fun, but that we can gain so much if we focus on the blessing that is to come.

3) Maturity comes to those who do not give up when times get hard.
Have you ever had a goal that you gave up on too quickly because it got hard? Maybe it was a relationship. Maybe it was a degree you were working on. Maybe there was a language you attempted to learn. Maybe it was the diet you have stopped 100 times already. James simply tells us that we cannot be mature unless we endure. There are some things in our life that will be difficult and may be difficult for a long time, but if you do not give up God can make it a blessing for you.
So what do you think? What are some other things James may be trying to tell us in this passage?
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Categories: James, James 1, Jesus, Joy, maturity, trials
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