So far in our studies of Trials And Temptation We have covered the following 1

Part 1 : The Fundamental Difference Between Trials and Temptation
Part 2: The 1st Concept: God Does Not Tempt Anyone

Now let us take a look at the second concept regarding Trials and Temptation from the book of James,

Second Concept : To Count It Joy When We Fall To Trials

“My brethren, count it all joy
  when you fall into various trials,” – James (Jn 1:2)

The second concept is to be joyful in the Midst of Trials. James was writing the book of  James to the 12 Tribes scattered abroad. But if we consider the new testaments perspective , there are in fact only 2 tribes. One that believe in Jesus and the other who are antichrist.

During the days of James . the 12 tribes of the Jews are mainly antichrist, and they persecute those who belong to Christ. Paul used to be zealous in the work of persecuting Christians and he went around seeking to throw Christians into the prison. Later on he was converted by the grace of God and he became someone who believed in Christ

The ones who persecute Christians are considered the majority to those who believe in Christ. In those days, believing in Christ doesn’t bring peace, but it means being persecuted for the fact that they accepted Christ. The persecution is severe and it can lead to them being thrown into the lions den or burnt alive. When in the midst of those trials, they are some Christians who did not know what to do.they were discouraged and they murmured against God.

This is natural,  for if we are thrown into prison for crimes, we will feel its justified. But these people are suffering just because of their belief in Jesus, and they fall into trials. That is when many find it hard to be joyful.

The Correction From James

Therefore when James wrote his letter to encourage the believers, he started by correcting their concept of Trials. He told them that they are supposed to be joyful when they encounter trials. But at this point of time, many would ask “Is such a joy  a form of self deception?”

Interestingly there is a Chinese Novelist Lu Xun who once wrote a book known as (The True Story of Ah Q” (阿Q正传). In it was a character known as Ah Q, he was full of self talk and self deception.  He will imagine himself as a victor even if he was defeated

But James here is not promoting such spirit. But rather he is promoting a spirit of faith. Peter talked about the same spirit as well

Beloved, do not think it strange
  concerning the fiery trial which
  is to try you, as though some
  strange thing happened to you;

   but rejoice to the extent that you
  partake of Christ’s sufferings, that
  when His glory is revealed, you
  may also be glad with exceeding  joy. 

  If you are reproached for the name of
  Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of
  glory and of God rests upon you. On their
  part He is blasphemed, but on your part
  He is glorified. But let none of you suffer
  as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as
  a busybody in other people’s matters. 
  Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him
  not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in
  this matter”- Peter (1 Pet 4:12-16)

That should be out attitude of faith, we must not find it strange when fiery trials came upon us. For we are suffering together with Christ. Eventually when he comes again, we will rejoice with him.

Although in the eyes of man we appear pitiable in the midst of suffering. Even though it appears shameful before others. But in the eyes of God it is something glorious, it is a blessing as well. For if we are reproached for Christ, we received a blessing for the spirit of God rest in us. Those who do not understand the faith can only see their pitiful state and their suffering but they are unable to see the glorious spirit of God abiding with them.

Conclusion Of Second Concept

That is why James corrected our concept , telling us that we must count it joy when we undergo trials. For the spirit of God is upon us and we are suffering alongside with Christ. Pester tells us that that suffering is a different kind of suffering. Typical punishment comes with shame, and there is no glory in punishment for doing wrong. But if one suffer punishment because of Christ, it is a blessing for when Christ comes again you will rejoice with him.

That is because while we are alive, we are willing to suffer together with Christ and Christ is willing to allow us to rejoice with him. That is a concept every Christian ought to have in the midst of Trials

Advertisements