Thursday, January 20, 2011

Consider Joy Before “It” Happens (James 1:2)

Yesterday I mentioned I’m studying James.  And yesterday I couldn’t get past "bond-servant"!  Today, I’ll pick up the pace and cover an entire verse! J

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.” James 1:2


Our friend Mr. Webster says that to consider is, “to think about something carefully—especially with regard to taking some action.”

So would it be much of a stretch then to believe that James was also suggesting that we “consider” joy even before the “it” happens?  James is saying exactly that! 

The Greek word here for “consider” is Hegeomai and it means “to lead; to go before”.

Live prepared ahead of time.

Go into your trial already in joy.

Don’t try to muster some up. 
Don’t force a smile. 
Don’t play the martyr to friends.
No faking it!

And keep “considering”!

Don’t stop leading in joy.
Don’t lose joy in the middle.
Don’t fall apart at the end.
No whining and complaining when it’s over!

The verb tense for this word is the “aorist imperitive”.  That means that it’s a command for doing something in the future.

Oh boy!

This isn’t just a suggestion here, friends.  James isn’t advising us to live this way so that we’ll be happier.  He is commanding us to live this way.

God commands us to live prepared in joy!

Why would this be so important to God to command it? 
What are our trials? 

They are our temptations and our sufferings.  
They come by way of people and circumstances.  
They are tailor-made experiences just for us!  
Yippee!  J

“And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace {tailor-made grace and wisdom for my trial!} who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”  1 Peter 4:10 

Look how those build upon one another...step—by—step...

“perfect”accomplish goal (of the trial)
            “confirm”steadfastly set
                        “strengthen”make strong
                                    “establish”ground; settle; lay a foundation

This is where God wants to take us! 
This is what He wants for us! 
That’s why He commands joy in the journey!

The journey to established faith is worth rejoicing—
in, over and through!

And if He is the foundation of our joy (which we talked about the other day) we can go in, over and through the trial with a constant flow.

Father, Humble me and empty me of all pride.  I want to trust you fully with no anxieties—for all provision, including the flow of joy, while I stand firm and resist the evil one.  I stand firm in the grace of salvation!  Amen!

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Click here for the other posts from my study of the book of James
I am joining The Good Morning Girls as we study James together.