One of the pillars of the early church, James led the church in Jerusalem for many years until he was tragically murdered. He was also known as a peacemaker who led with wisdom and courage.
The book of James was written to the Jews dispersed around the Mediterranean and they were living in troubled times. The Christian Jews were persecuted by Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. At the start of his book, instead of the customary thanksgiving and greetings, he dived right in with this message, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2 NIV), suggesting that the church was facing significant trials.
Like them, today we are living in troubled times. Perhaps, we should take heed from this great pastor, who is challenging us to reframe our pain and evidence our faith by walking in certain ways.
c. James commands us to consider/count our difficult circumstances as all joy. Consider/count means to “to make up your mind concerning something”. We have a choice in how we view our circumstances. The choice we should make is to count trials as joy (in Greek means “supreme joy”). And we come to this attitude not naturally but rather as a result of our specific knowledge about God. The more we understand about how God uses trials in our life to test us, the better prepared we will be to face them properly.
James 1:3 says, “know that the testing of your faith…”. The Greek word for “know” is ginosko, which means to perceive properly or see things in the right way.
Are you seeing the trials in your life the right way? Are you seeing God the right way?
WHAT WOULD YOU DO
The Bible is very clear that believers will face trials of many kinds. Just as our Lord was tested in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), so we too are called to endure trial in this life. However, the Bible also promises us that God will use our trials for our good, strengthening us and leading us to rely more fully on him. We need to reframe our pain and let perseverance finish its work.
Take some time to reflect these questions. Share with a mature believer or with your LifeGroup via phone/Whatsapp/video chat.
“Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:3-4