James 1:1-12

Here is a passage with which many are familiar.  Though I had heard it, myself, several times growing up, I remember a particular week in which it seemed that God was constantly rehearsing the chapter in preparation for something.  Though I tried to get this passage down, I couldn’t have known how important these principles would be when a storm did soon swiftly sweep across my path.  At first, it was easy to forget what I had just learned and give into anger and discouragement, but God was good to keep teaching me until I got it.  Because of this, I wish to share the important truth found in these verses.

The Principle

James writes for the believer to “count it all joy” when we fall into “diverse temptations.”  This isn’t warning of a scuba accident, necessarily, but of the various trials we are going to face.  We are to welcome them as helpful tools with which God is about to make us more like Christ.  We are to allow patience to “have her perfect work” so that we can be complete; mature.  Count it all joy; laugh a little and think of God’s superiority to your situation.

The Prayer

The next verse tells us to ask God for wisdom if that is something we lack, because He will eagerly and abundantly give us the discernment we need to accomplish His will if we just ask and believe that He will answer.  If a Christian asks without faith, he is praying an empty prayer which will not be heard.

The Practice

From seeing our situation through a joyous, appreciative light, and from asking God for wisdom, the principle becomes practice in verses 9-11 as we learn to rejoice in whatever situation we are in, whether it is one of promotion or demotion.

The Promise

This reason we can rejoice in all of this is because God promises us that we will receive a crown of life if we endure.  Keep a sturdy stance and realize that you don’t have to solve all of your problems to receive a crown; you just have to keep a godly spirit.

The Point

So that’s a lot to take in, but you know what?  That’s not a lot to actually do.  Oh, it is hard, very!  But all of these verses can be simplified to the one main verb phrase; count it all joy.  That’s all we have to do.  If it’s hard, simply pray for wisdom.

Let’s focus all our energy concerning this passage to just do that; count it all joy.

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