From the book of James we read,
- “James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad, greetings. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:1-4 – NASB)
It seems obvious to this reader that “James” knew of troubles that plagued the ones he was writing to. It should also be obvious to us that the Holy Spirit, the Author of the Scriptures, knew that many others down through time were also going to “encounter various trials” as those “of . . . faith,” as Christians, and that they were going to need counsel in how to deal with them.
- “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials”
The word “consider” is borrowed from the accounting profession. It literally means, “to make a mental note of; to count” (note NKJV); to reckon on a ledger.” Someone has written of this word that, “it deals with how we think or respond.”
For the Christian, the believer who is in Christ, there will surely come “various trials.” If we are in the Word and pondering it’s counsel and storing God’s words in our heart, then we know how it is we are to respond during these times. It is the person who professes Christ but is not in His Word who stumbles greatly when the “trials” come.
- “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (NKJV)
Dr. Joseph Stowell, in his great book, The Dawn’s Early Light, wrote this regarding “Consider . . . or . . . Count,”
- “It tells us that when trouble impacts our lives, something needs to be reckoned in our brains. This affects the way we process information, draw conclusions, and make decisions. The one who ‘considers’ is not concerned with changing the circumstances but with changing his or her attitudes and action in the face of the circumstances. What is the concept that needs to be ‘reckoned?’ It is the radical thought that when trouble strikes, the circumstances — regardless of what it is — is worth thinking about from a joyful perspective. It is to be seen as a thing of joy . . . It is as though when trouble enters our lives we have numerous columns in which to tally the experience . . . a column for blame, self-pity, bitterness, unfair, escape, withdrawal, anger . . . There are many, many ways we can ‘consider,’ that is, think about trouble when it enters our lives. We need to mark the column marked ‘joy’ the Bible says, even though we may not feel joyful.” (NOTE: My highlighting)
Again, it is certain that “various trials” will come into our lives, I think we all know that. What we as Christians have is the blessing of divine counsel in what we are to do when they come.
Have a good day brethren . . . and make some time to take in this precious counsel from God, and make a special note of it, for it is sure that troubles will come. Knowing what to do when they come is what God desires for His children.
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