COUNT “IT ALL” JOY
“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greeting. Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials (πειρασμοῖς, temptations), knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (ὑπομονήν). And let patience (ὑπομονὴ) have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1: 1-4)
Why does the Apostle James remind me of the obvious in my cross-carrying journey, – to “count it all joy,” including the discomfort of “trials” or “temptations”? Because I may tend to choose other paths, other responses to my trials, like self-pity and resentment. But these paths are fruitless, as well as blind. Both self-pity and resentment are blind to the hidden gift in my innermost discomforts: They signalize to me where I need God’s help, leading me to seek it and experience it, in His light. This experience of God grants me the emotional stability or “patience” that only He can give, as One Who is all-stable and unchanging.
But I can’t “know” this, if I don’t try it. So let me stay close to Him today, in my ups and downs, letting Him in, and letting His “patience have its full effect.” He wants me to be in Him and like Him, “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Glory be to Him, for “it all.”