Count it all joy

David Garman

James begins his open letter to the twelve tribes of Israel scattered abroad, by mentioning temptations. He wrote that we should count it all joy, should we fall into them. Really? The prayer to Our Father taught us to stay off of the avenue of temptation. James says temptations are a reason for gladness? He must be referring to something other than our standard notion of temptation, where we are tempted to do this or that, which he points this out in ch1-v14. There is victory in overcoming a temptation to do wrong. We envision a man or a woman in anguish battling the fleshly things which are adversarial to the Spirit. But this is not exactly the temptation James is calling joy.

For everyone who has experienced the kind of temptation he is describing in v2, this opening is a positive, powerful piece of encouragement. It is very difficult to describe. The trials, like falling into the sea, the tempest and angry waves, manifold dangers, you’re under scrutiny, betrayed, suffering adversity, but having proper knowledge of its purposeful work in you. He writes, “let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect, and entire, wanting nothing.” There is a certain contentment resulting from surviving, having finally come to shore. You exit each time a little more free from the world of the flesh, moving into the world of Spirit. Living, breathing, life itself is re-prioritized. It is difficult, but don’t consider it strange, because really, it does seem surreal. Remember it is a blessing to endure temptations, trials, because when he/she is tried he/she shall receive a crown of LIFE. Y’shua promised this to those who love Him.

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