My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
James 1:2 — King James Version
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
James 1:2 — New International Version
May you have every joy, my brethren, when you enter various and many temptations,
James 1:2 — Aramaic Bible in Plain English
My brothers and sisters, be very happy when you are tested in different ways.
James 1:2 — God’s Word Translation
Regard it all as joy, my brothers, when you face various kinds of temptations;
James 1:2 — Complete Jewish Bible
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
1:1-11 Christianity teaches men to be joyful under troubles: such exercises are sent from God’s love; and trials in the way of duty will brighten our graces now, and our crown at last. Let us take care, in times of trial, that patience, and not passion, is set to work in us: whatever is said or done, let patience have the saying and doing of it. When the work of patience is complete, it will furnish all that is necessary for our Christian race and warfare. We should not pray so much for the removal of affliction, as for wisdom to make a right use of it. And who does not want wisdom to guide him under trials, both in regulating his own spirit, and in managing his affairs? Here is something in answer to every discouraging turn of the mind, when we go to God under a sense of our own weakness and folly. If, after all, any should say, This may be the case with some, but I fear I shall not succeed, the promise is, To any that asketh, it shall be given. A mind that has single and prevailing regard to its spiritual and eternal interest, and that keeps steady in its purposes for God, will grow wise by afflictions, will continue fervent in devotion, and rise above trials and oppositions. When our faith and spirits rise and fall with second causes, there will be unsteadiness in our words and actions. This may not always expose men to contempt in the world, but such ways cannot please God. No condition of life is such as to hinder rejoicing in God. Those of low degree may rejoice, if they are exalted to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom of God; and the rich may rejoice in humbling providences, that lead to a humble and lowly disposition of mind. Worldly wealth is a withering thing. Then, let him that is rich rejoice in the grace of God, which makes and keeps him humble; and in the trials and exercises which teach him to seek happiness in and from God, not from perishing enjoyments.
Thoughts on Today’s Verse
By Elizabeth Haworth
Many believers think that our Christian life should be problem-free and devoid of trials and yet Jesus warned that in this world we will have tribulation, while Paul also reminds us that we must, through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
James also wanted to explain that our personal trials are a test of our faith and the daily difficulties we face in life — help to develop our Christian character and mature our spiritual walk, and so at the beginning of his epistle, he calls us to consider the various trials we face as pure joy — and the inevitable difficulties that come our way as a glorious opportunity to rejoice in the Lord – the Rock of our Salvation.
Sometimes the difficulties we face are the result of our own wrong choices. Sometimes they come cloaked in the enticing wrapping-paper of ungodly temptations and sometimes they are the fruit of ungodly harassment and unfair treatment from a Christ-rejecting, God-hating, Christian-despising sinful world.
Whatever the source of our trials and temptations we can choose one of two routes. We can seek to battle-through in our own strength, wondering if God really cares, as the pressure increases until we finally give-up – or we can remember that God is in control and rejoice in the Lord and consider it pure joy – recognizing it as one of the various trials which God will use to fine-tune our faith, increase our dependence upon Him, develop our Christian character and bring us closer to spiritual maturity.
Heavenly Father, there are times when I complain about the trials and tests that seem to pepper my walk through life – but I pray that I may increasingly learn to regard the various trials I face as pure joy.. and the inevitable difficulties that come my way as a glorious opportunity to rejoice in You. I pray that I may face my daily trials joyfully, knowing that the testing of my faith will produce endurance and steadfastness. May I increase my dependence upon You, so that I may grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ – to Your praise and glory, AMEN