Bible Study: Remaining Joyful in Hard Times (James 1.2)
Good day saints,
I encourage those who are hungry like me to partake from the sabbath manna shared from the greater light by our brother James in the 2nd verse of the 1st chapter,
James instructs, "count it ALL joy when ye fall in divers temptations..."
Clearly, our fellow saint's exhortation is paradoxical. He tells us to be glad when we meet precarious and unordinary situations.
Divers means varied, many and different. During the week, we meet the works of the evil one through various shapes and sizes. We have seen round, square, triangle, black, white, yellow, purple, big, small, and extra-large temptations; at times through our loved ones, at times through our own machinations and at times through situations we had no control over. Divers temptations can be broken relationships, business and academic failures, marriages on the rocks, sickness, poverty and bosses.
In all this, James asks of us a difficult thing, to count it ALL joy!
Saints, we can never be in control of all elements of nature or human behaviour but we can always choose how we feed our souls in times of darkness.
Some fires are started by arsonists, some are started by those who are fighting fire, but more importantly, some see the opportunity of regrowth and regeneration and they themselves start the fire so they can grow. Regardless of the type of fire in the veld, under it lies a new chance of growth and regeneration. Therefore, when you find yourself in dire straits, count it all blessed, you are about to grow as a person.
Viktor Frankl, a holocaust survivor, speaks to how tragedy and hell can help map meaning in life and help a human to grow in character depth. After all, clothes can be washed to look clean but they need the pressing of a very hot iron or steam for them to be wearable. The ironing might be painful, but it is for your own good.
In conclusion, brethren, when you are faced with an unfortunate circumstance, remember to count it all joy because "the trying of your faith worketh patience...that ye may be perfect and entire".