1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. 9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
All throughout God’s Word we see men and women take trials and turn them into victories. How is that even possible? Is verse 2 of James 1 even possible? Sometimes it sure doesn’t seem like it. James gives us four words in these 12 verses that will help us turn our trials, and testings into great victories for the glory of God. Those 4 words are count (2) know (3) let (4, 9-12) and ask (5-8). These 4 words deal with our attitude, our mind, our will, and our heart. Let’s take a closer look at this word count today.
It’s not a matter of if trials come our way, it’s a question of when. If we go into the Christian life expecting it to be easy we are in for quite the shock. Knowing that trials are coming should motivate us to be ready for how to respond to them, and James helps us with that here in these 12 verses. One of the key words he uses is count. Count is a financial term and it simply means to evaluate. Paul used this word several times in his writing. It seemed to be an important word to Paul. When Paul became a Christian he evaluated his life, what he realized is up until that point his life had meant nothing. His whole life took on new meaning, and his priorities were now different based on his encounter with Jesus. God had begun a work in Paul. I say all that to say this. When we face trials we must face them with the attitude of “what is God trying to accomplish through this?” This is why the believer can face trials with joy, because his priorities are right, he is living for what matters most. Hebrews 12:2 even tells us that Jesus faced the cross with joy. “If we value comfort more than character then trials will upset us, if we live only for the present and not for the future, then trials will make us bitter” Warren Wiersbe. What if when trials came we immediately gave thanks, and took on a joyful attitude about it? That can only be done when looking through the eyes of faith. I’m not saying any of this is easy, nor do I have a grasp on this myself, but this passage does tell us that it is possible to face our trials with a joyful attitude. We’ll look at the next word that makes this possible next time.