“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials…”
James viewed dispersed Jewish Christians throughout the world as his “brethren.” He uses this affiliation with Christians 15 times in his epistle. He balances his commands with compassion.
Christians under duress should face trial with an attitude of joy. They should look at trial as the sovereign plan of God for their lives. We should not descend into a sad, dejected state of mind that does not allow us to face our problems.
The word “count” is an accounting term. It means put trial to the positive side of the ledger. Christians face their trials head on by understanding God’s sovereign working in their lives.
“Count” is an imperative, a command. Christians must choose to calculate joy in their lives because facing trial in this way is not natural. We must consciously choose the attitude of joy in trial based on the fact of God’s sovereignty. Christians are to take control of their attitude by orienting to God’s plan for their lives.
God’s sovereign purpose allows us to put our trials in perspective.
Christians must intentionally put their trials under God’s plan in their attitude. Christians are to calculate each experience God sovereignly allows into our lives as a point of joy because we know it is from the hand of God. Nothing is capricious in God’s plan; everything has a purpose.
Mature Christians carry an attitude of joy under trial. Carnal Christians complain and gripe about their lot. They seem to have no sense of God’s sovereign plan for their lives. Mature Christians clearly understand God’s sovereignty and purpose for them.