Finding Joy Through Trials

James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
           Without a doubt the brethren (and sisters too of course) do have much in common.  Every single member of God’s family suffers from time to time with temptations.  The word temptation is mostly understood to be defined as the devil attempting to get God’s people to perform an act against God; and this is a proper definition.  This would be the best definition of the word tempted in James 1:13-14. But another definition of the word temptation is the trials, calamities, and hardships that a Christian is faced with.  This definition of the word temptation is the meaning as the apostle James used the word in the verse above.
           The primary reason that the word temptation is understood to mean trial or calamity in the verse above is because James informs those who fall into temptations to count it all joy.  Obviously when the Christian is tempted to sin against God an attitude of joy is not the proper reaction, but instead an attitude of concern, humility, and prayer is appropriate when being tempted to sin.  And notice also the Word of God informs its readers that the trials will be divers, meaning more than just one temptation and of different kinds.
           So the reasons are plentiful for the Christian to rejoice in the knowledge God has provided.  This knowledge does not however come without a challenge.  How in the world is the individual supposed to count it all joy when faced with temptations?  First in realizing that he is not the only one faced with temptations, we suffer these things together.  Secondly, the Christian can have joy in these temptations because the chastening of the Lord is not His goal.  It is the staff that is always in His hand; the rod He must reach for.  The third and final reason for joy in temptations is found in what is being accomplished with and through the temptations; and that is patience.  The trying of faith does not produce bitterness, hatred, anger, or doubt.  In fact, when trials come these are driven out, and replaced with patience.  Why does God desire for His children to have patience?  It is patience that helps the soul to wait on the Lord in order that the soul would know without a doubt when the hand of God is moving or directing the individual.  It is through the way of patience we are able to trust Him.  It is with patience that we make the big decisions in life and some small ones too.  It is with patience that we endure at any single moment being tempted to sin, and still able to resist; because patience reminds us that the next moment will be here and then this too shall pass.  The word of God labels God’s people as a peculiar people.  Could one of the reasons for this be the joy that we have when we are suffering?  
~Pastor Kaiser
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