Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, (ESV)
In the previous verse we were introduced to the author of this Epistle. James, the brother of Jesus. He knew Jesus in ways that the Apostle Paul could not have known. He grew up in the same home. He had the same earthly parents. As a result, when we hear James' words we are getting insight from someone who knew Jesus better than just about anybody. So, he was acquainted with suffering.
As we read today's verse we are immediately confronted with an idea that runs counter-culturally against the way we usually live our lives. How would you prefer to finish that phrase, "Count it all joy, . . ."? We would probably choose some of these options:
- Count it all joy when you get a raise at work.
- Count it all joy when you purchase a new house.
- Count it all joy when you have a life with no problems.