Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you are with Me, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. With endurance you can stand firm, and do not be disqualified by anyone’s opinion of you.
James 1:2-4 (New King James Version)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds; 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 But let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Then you will by no means be disqualified for the prize of life.
Is this not a wonderful message? Count it all joy!!! It is so easy to count things as joy when things go well and when things are going well. But when things go the other ways, especially when things are going wrong, it is easy to become depressed. It can take a lot of effort to not become depressed in such circumstances.
Consider this fromJames 1:2-4
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds; for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 3 But let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 4 When challenges and tests come through the way, you are plenty capable, for you have the word of God that speaks to you.
So count it all joy! You have the word of God that speaks to you. And you are able, for you have the faith that Jesus spoke about you having. James says you are plenty capable and you are complete. Do not let anything throw you off balance. Have confidence in Him.
You may have had some bad experiences in the past and you think “This again.” Just count those experiences as joys. When you laugh, you are giving joy to others and you are giving joy to God. We cannot help but be a source of joy to others when we do things for God’s kingdom. So rejoice.
4 Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
A lot of people want to be a success without having to really work at being a success. But I can assure you that no one will succeed in life without hard work. Someone only has to look at the greatness of the masters to realize how hard it can be. These people who do great things for God’s kingdom work hard and are a blessing to many.
You may have had aFamily that has been a tremendous burden on your mother and father. You thought that they were a necessity to your life, but when you discover that they are causing more grief than joy, you wonder what they have been using as a reason to keep you from doing great things for God’s kingdom.
Mothers and Fathers are threatened with solitary female in a world where male and female are Babel. In Isaiah 45:6 it says “Surely he hath borne our griefs , and carried our sorrows: but we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Let us give honor and thankfulness to the man who carries our burden. Because he has been the cause of our joy we no longer regard him as a man who does not labor for the kingdom. He has been the gift from God, and now that he is gone we can silently say “Well, that was him” and we lift up our hands in honor and gratitude.
Well, What have we learned from all of this? In the first story we learned that much of God’s character is found in human form. God gave us free will and the choice to be good or be bad. We discovered that it is not enough to be a loving husband and father, or a wise employee, or a rich citizen of a prosperous society. All these and more are wonderful, but it does not define who we are, nor should it. We became friends with the co-creator God first because he loved us. He came first to provide what we needed and wanted. Without him we never would have met the beloved Father and friend we have become.
Second, we learned that what we have learned we have to share with others who may not have as yet learned the valuable lessons. We are not to be judged by standards of the world, but we are to be our brother’s keeper in the true sense of the word.
Third, we learned that in sharing with others what we have learned, we are linked to a life-changing power within the tribe of those of us who understand the truth. We develop a third element of discipleship which is the inner strength of fellowship.