1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
Testing of Your Faith
2 Count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds,3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith,with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man,unstable in all his ways.
9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
The passage says count it all joy-easier said than done. I see how these scriptures are tying together. Romans 12 has me submitting as my reasonable service or being obedient as my worship unto God. Now James commands me to count it all joy when I am being tried. When the test comes—be joyful! When the opposition presents itself—be joyful. When the husband gets on the last nerve or when that teenager rises up against you and does things you would have never imagined—count it all joy. What does that even mean?
Have you ever taken the moment to look at your trial and considered the end of it from the very beginning? It brings to mind the passage in Romans 8: 18 (KJV) that says, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Going through a time of testing gives you the opportunity to know the Lord at a greater level. With every test, you learn more about Him and yourself. You lean not to your own understanding and declaring this out loud and in writing may be necessary for your personal growth. I don’t know about you but my understanding would take me right into problem solving mode which would “X” out the need for the Lord. I would not be able to have my faith in Him proven, nor my level of endurance, steadfastness and patience increased because I’d be working out the problems based on my limited knowledge.
Your willingness to yield to the working of the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean you sit with your arms folded and say God’s got this. He does, but when faced with a trial you ought to be driven to pray more, read more, fast more, fellowship more, and BE STILL more. When trials come, they cause you to intentionally and purposefully “ask, seek and knock”in your quest to listen for the voice of the Lord. This yields great joy, but it doesn’t stop there. Verse 4 says let patience have its perfect work–let your soul be at peace with all the trial is producing and don’t ask to get out of it. Peace must be perfected in you to fully develop you so you lack nothing. This perfecting is not for your benefit but for those who hear you. That takes the trial and understanding of why to an entirely new level. You go through for me and I go through for you. How selfless, self- sacrificing, and humbling—oh how this looks like Jesus!
Verse 5-8 are sound instructions of how to come to the Lord to ask for wisdom when in the trial. He (Jesus) looks for confidence from His disciples…ask and don’t waver.