COUNT IT ALL JOY!
(James 1:2) My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
How do you find the strength to go on when you feel as if the weight of the whole world is on your shoulders? How do you walk victoriously when the proverbial rug keeps getting pulled out from underneath of you every time you think you have got your footing? How do you fight the good fight and run the race when you are so exhausted that you can’t even keep your thoughts straight?
We are in one of three situations all of the time. We are either headed into a storm, in the midst of a storm or coming out of a storm. That is why James says when we fall into divers temptations, not if.
You do not have to be a Christian for long to know that after accepting Jesus you suddenly stepped into eternal bliss and no trouble or harm will ever come your way ever again. In fact, in many cases it is just the opposite. You see, Satan didn’t much care about you when he had you. Now that you are on God’s team he is not going to pull any punches to keep you from spreading your faith any further then yourself. He may have lost you but he will be firing those fiery darts like crazy to keep you too busy to fulfill the plans that God has for your life.
So in these battles or storms or trials or tribulations or troubles or times of doubt or pain or confusion or fear or loneliness or weakness or exhaustion or straying, you can either hang your head in defeat or you can hear the word of the LORD and count it all joy!
That has got to be the craziest thing I have ever heard. If what people have been talking about and what I see as the coming of the end times is upon us, how are we to count this great tribulation, this time of pain and fear as all joy? How are we even today to count the pain we are in physically as joy? How are we to count our loneliness as joy? And what about all these temptations and every time we fail. Are we to count our failings as joy?
Let’s stop and back up in the text and look at all of this in context and instead of asking more questions, let’s listen to God’s answer.
Sometimes it can make things a little clearer for us when we read it in a different translation. Communications is the key:
(James 1:2 BBE) Let it be all joy to you, my brothers, when you undergo tests of every sort;
A couple of things I want us to look at here. First, we can see that James calls us his brothers. We are not in this thing alone. You have brothers and sisters all around the world, we are all praying for and lifting one another up. The greatest family in the world to be in is the Family of God. So before you start feeling isolated and all alone. Like nothing like this has ever happened to anyone else in the history of mankind and no one knows the trouble I’ve seen, remember
“there has no temptation came upon you that is not common unto man…..”
(1Corinthians 10:13 KJV) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Son the first thing you need to know is that you are not in this thing alone. We really do care about you. The second thing I want you to notice is that all of these trials and tribulations and struggles are making you more like Jesus. You are being molded into the image of our savior.
A lot of people would rather go through life without any problems. Image there never being any conflict in your life. never having any financial burdens, never having any heart ach, never being in pain…… Oh, yes that would be great but would you grow? Would you ever be anything more then who you are right now if you did not have to change a thing. Chances are if it were not for God allowing some trials into your life you would not be half the man or woman of God you are today.
And before you go and start blaming God again for your problems remember it is not God who tempts us……
(James 1:13 & 14 KJV) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
So it is not the trial or the temptation or the situation it is our reaction to it that will reveal our metal. Let’s get back to our text and see how, or why God would even allow the enemy to get this close to us.
(James 1:2 BBE) Let it be all joy to you, my brothers, when you undergo tests of every sort;
Here these trials, temptations, troubles are called tests. The Actual Greek word is “peirasmos
It means to put something to proof, to refine it, to test it, to experience or discipline.
What has to happen is that your faith is going to have to be strengthened. There has never been a time in history nor any time in your life that you are going to need to stand strong upon your faith then the storms of life ahead. Everything you have been through so far has, or you should have allowed them all, to strengthen you. For too many of us we have allowed the situations, the trials and the tribulations to tear us down and weaken us. If that is you then you can take heart today because today is the day of your salvation. Today is the day that all of that gets turned around and you start counting it all joy.
SO if the first thing we saw today was that we were not alone in our struggles, the second is for us to realize that there is a purpose for them. We are not some cosmic mistake traveling through this vast nothing experiencing one coincidence after another. As far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as coincidence! God has a purpose and a plan for our lives. He who began a good work in you will continue it….
(Philippians 1:6 KJV) Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
The purpose of the trials and tribulation is to increase your faith. It is to make you grow. It is to build you up in the faith. It is to give you hope!
(Romans 5:1-5 KJV) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation 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.
There very thing the enemy is trying to keep us from spreading is the very thing that will grow in us if we will allow it through counting all of our tribulations as joy. Let your faith be built up knowing that God is able. Let your faith be strengthened knowing that when you are weak, he is strong. Let your faith grow by knowing that God is able to make a way were there doesn’t seem to be away. Let your faith grow by discovering that God will provide your every need according to His riches in glory. Let your faith explode by the revelation of you being more than a conqueror. Let your faith spread throughout the world when you manifest the reality of His almighty Holy Spirit Power to make all things new. Satan does not want your faith to grow. That is why he continues to assail you but when you count it all joy you discover how your faith can:
• See the sunshine in spite of the rain
• See the blessings in spite of the burdens
• See the reward in spite of the trials and tribulations
• When there is no way Faith will find a way
• When there is no hope Faith gives hope
• When there is no joy Faith brings joy
• When there is no peace Faith brings peace
• When there is no strength Faith provides strength
Jesus counted it all joy when He went to the cross for us:
(Hebrews 12:2-4 KJV) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
SO the first thing we learned today is that we are not alone. The second thing we learned was that there is a purpose for our pain and now let us learn how to count it all joy.
How can we be joyful when we are facing problem after problem? The only way to to change our way of thinking. We need to change our minds. Remember the Greek word meaning “change your mind”?
It is translated “REPENT”!
The Bible tells us that “as a man thinks so is he”! IT is time to turn it around. We are all either right now in the midst of a storm, going into a storm or coming out of a storm. You can look at it as “OH, ME!” or you c an look at it and say “Praise the LORD!” You have to know that God will see you through it and that you will be stronger and better able to glorify him through it. The best antidote for pain is praise. The best way to over come temptation is to draw nigh unto God. the Best way to over come depression is to sing praises to God.
(1Peter1:7-9 KJV) That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
Joy unspeakable and full of glory!!!!!!
It is yours today and everyday unto the ages of ages, world without end, Amen!