“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.
I am not disputing that God has a sovereign plan in our trials and it is God’s desire that there should be joy in our lives during these times. I just wonder (not in an argumentative way) that if we carry this forward to it’s logical end, should it follow that we should be glad for the trials and, if so, to what degree? Should we even do anything to relieve ourselves of these trials? Let them “run their course” without our stifling the opportunity for growth?
An example would be if you have chronic pain. Should you feel free to seek relief from this trial by judiciously using prescription pain medicine? Should you just pray that since this pain is “from the hand of God” that using something like a drug to relieve it would be interfering with what is best for us in a spiritual sense? Should we just suck it up and pray for healing? Logic should be consistent and cohesive.
Paul told Timothy to “use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake”. Should I go to the doctor with a broken leg or just trust God? If I step on a rusty nail, should I get a tetanus shot of just trust God? There comes a time when common sense kicks in!
Dwight, Tony, nowhere I have said to “just trust God” without using God-given capacities that He provided us.
The Bible says the just shall live by faith (Heb. 10:38) but it also says that faith without works is dead (Jam 2:17) and for me it means that we must join our faith along with our natural resources in order to produce the manifestation that we are looking for. The Bible also says to speak those things that be not as though they were (Rom 4:17) meaning faith is at work faith is what’s going to deliver us out of the situation despite the situation! that we stand on faith we continue to stand on faith while we are going through the difficulty of the situation, by standing on Gods word for that particular situation or need. And if we need to take medication or see a doctor it’s okay as long as you put the word of God first, put your faith first before you take medication and before you go see the doctor. And when we are going through trials and difficulties we are excited because we know that we have the victory that’s how you’re able to be joyful because you trust that God will bring you out. And the bible also says to pray without ceasing, (1 Thess. 5:17) prayer helps to alleviate the pain.