My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. — James 1:2-3
It sounds unreasonable and impossible, but as believers we are commanded to “count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations”. We see the reason for this only if we consider the result— “the trying of your faith worketh patience”. Your calamity can create Christian character. God gives this command because He knows, given a choice, we would never choose the road that leads to difficulty and pain. We want ease and comfort. We would take the easy route and miss out on the benefit that can only come from hard trials. So, God lets us know that we have a responsibility to “count it all joy”. He doesn’t ask our permission before He allows these things to come into our lives. He knows we need them and He sends them without any invitation. And He expects us to receive them without complaint.
Although our trials aren’t pleasant, knowing that God has a reason for them, a reason in our best interest, we should do as He commands– “count it all joy”. But, I must warn you, this isn’t easy— you’re going to need help. The good news is that the same God who allows these things to come and commands us to count it all joy, also enables us to do it. Although it seems unreasonable and impossible, His grace will be sufficient. When we put Him first and yield ourselves to His control He enables us to do what we never could do on our own.
Whether we succeed at this or not depends on what we consider to be most important. Warren Wiersbe wrote: “Our values determine our evaluations. If we value comfort more than character, then trials will upset us. If we value the material and physical more than the spiritual, we will not be able to ‘count it all joy!’. If we live only for the present and forget about the future, the trials will make us bitter, not better”.
So the question is— what do you value most? If being conformed to the image of Christ is your greatest desire, as it should be, then you will consider your trials to be friends rather than foes. You will be able to rejoice because you see them as the means to the end. You know that the experience may be grievous, but the end will be glorious!