Hello to you, my Brethren in the Lord. During this Coronavirus outbreak I pray that everyone is taking the necessary steps to keep safe. Not only this, but let’s utilize our quarantine time to pray and read God’s word as well as scanning our environment to identify others in need.
In my personal devotion yesterday, God led me to James 1:2 and I would like to share what the Father laid on my heart during my time with him. My blog today would not be in my typical conversational style but more geared towards teaching by analyzing this verse. But I pray that my simple interpretation of this verse blesses your heart as it did mines.
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
MY BRETHREN: I love how this verse starts by describing the audience. James is speaking to the audience of brethren (people of the Lord). The modern-day term for brethren would be Brother or Sister in the Lord. This term not only alludes to the audience but it also speaks to how James considered them, as literal brothers and sisters who are of the same blood, i.e the blood of Jesus Christ.
I get the impression that James has deep love for anyone who this letter is going to be addressed to. I personally view it as a bigger brother calling a younger and proceeding to provide wisdom for living because of his love for him.
COUNT IT : The advice starts by saying, “Brother, COUNT IT…”. Big Brother James is saying that we must stop and consider deeply the divers (indefinite number) temptations which come upon us. No one should go through testing without spending quiet time alone and reflecting on what God is carrying them through.
Don’t let it happen without you stopping and looking at it with focus and intent. You must examine it and form an opinion as to why it is happening. You must take a position of how you regard or deem this trial/test/temptation. Your view of it would affect your actions and your actions will affect your behaviour. If you think it bad then your actions would be bad. But on the other hand, if you think it good, your actions and response to the testing would be good. This all comes from how you view it (count it). One of the best ways to view it is mentioned in Romans and Jeremiah.
Romans 8:28 (KJV) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
ALL JOY. – some persons in life cannot find joy in many things, even in things that innately can produce some form of joy. Yet God is telling us to count it as ALL JOY for the things (trials/testing) that the natural man cannot see joy in.
Not some of the trial, or part of it, but all of it. Not from the start to the middle only, nor from the middle to the end, or any other section, but all of it – START to END. Everything should be embraced, the effort, the difficulty , the pain of it, the sacrifice, …. everything.
I know what you are thinking, “Man, how do you do this”? You are talking about having joy in trials? Really…? Well, I believe the answer can be found in:
Rom.15:13. (KJV) “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Firstly, notice that it is God who will fill us with ALL JOY. It is not our jobs or prestige, money, fame, power and the many other things we run after that which brings joy. These things will never bring true joy – But God.
I love how verse 13 says, the “God of Hope” to identify with a key character trait of our Heavenly Father. God wants us to look to Him in hope (please read Psalm 121). God has His role and we also have our role, and our role is to believe in Him. We want all joy and peace? Then we must learn to believe in Him with all our hearts, mind and soul and disbelieve anything and everyone else. This is how you find joy in every situation, by placing your faith and hope in the one who made Heaven and Earth. You want “all joy”, then learn to place all your Faith.
When this happens, no matter what takes place in the external environment your joy will be full on the inside with Christ. The thing is:
“The environment should not affect your joy, but your joy must affect the environment”
This is why the Apostle Paul accomplished so much in God. Every hardship he saw as something to be joyous about because in the long run it produced patience, and perfection in his life.
“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem” – Captain Jack Sparrow
I have so much more to say but I think it best to close off here for now. God bless you and keep safe my Brethren (… I just love that word 😊)
PS: On a separate note, I recently relaunched my book “What is the Woman Saying: Lessons from Biblical Women”. It is a fantastic book with some excellent biblical insights for both women and men. For a limited time today, you can get a kindle copy for only $0.99 cents. I encourage you to get a copy.
Your Brother in the Lord,
Dane Miller | Author
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