Trials... Are you facing any today? Yay! So let's celebrate them.
"WHAT?" I hear you saying it already. "Why in the world would I celebrate my trials?"
The answer... it's Biblical.
Let's get started in the book of James again and see what I am talking about. Grab your Bible, a notebook or your Scripture Study Worksheet, and a pen so we can start digging into this crazy idea of celebrating our trials.
James 1:2 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds". Yeah, right! Close Bible end discussion, I read something I like better. Let's face it sometimes the Word isn't always what we want to hear, much less COMFORTABLE or EASY to live out. We are human. We think as humans. We act as humans. We feel like humans feel. WE ARE FLESH!
So, let's break this verse down and see what God is using James to say to us.
2 | Consider it pure joy
who is he talking to? my brothers
whenever you face trials
what kind trials? of many kinds
Notice it refers to whenever you face many trials. So, we can rephrase this verse like this: "Consider facing many trials pure joy!" in other words, "Celebrate it!"
Let's take a deeper look. Time to utilize those online resources. Click on this link to biblos.com. Here we have the Lexicon for this verse. See that the chart shows the definition of consider as "to lead, suppose." Now click on the Strong's number. You will find that the more extended definition is (a) I lead, (b) I think, am of opinion, suppose, consider.
Ladies and gentleman.. when we consider, we lead our thoughts, we don't allow Satan to lead them. How many times are we going through a struggle a trial and one thought from the enemy takes over and just starts running our thought life? Oh how I am guilty! When you face trials, you have to lead your thoughts and when you, a child of God, someone in His own image is leading... you are actually technically going to have to let GOD be the one to lead those thoughts... NOT THE ENEMY!
If you look on down on this information about the meaning of these words, the HELPS Word-studies gives deeper definition: 2233 hēgéomai (from 71 /ágō, "to lead") – properly, to lead the way (going before as a chief) – cognate with 2232 /hēgemṓn ("a governor or official who leads others").
"Go before as chief, a governor or official who leads others." Chiefs, governors, and officials have one thing in common... they are given the authority, (Did you hear that? AUTHORITY,) to lead. God has given us authority over not just our thought life, but our trials as well. HALLELUJAH! I see a celebrations starting.
One last thing I want us to look at...joy. What does this word "joy" mean? Happiness? Excitement? Rest? Celebration? Maybe it's a little bit of it all. Let's look at the Strong's link from the Lexicon and see what that word was truly representing in the Greek.
The HELPS Word Study says this: Cognate: 5479 xará (another feminine noun from the root xar-, "extend favor, lean towards, be favorably disposed") – properly, the awareness (of God's) grace, favor; joy ("grace recognized").
Do you see what I underlined? Awareness of God's grace and favor. Joy is grace recognized! HELLO?!?!?!? If we can't celebrate anything, we could be jumping up and down, hooping and hollering, and praising God for His marvelous grace and favor. There is no better gift!
So there you have it. Black and white. Biblical proof. It's time to stop letting Satan take control of our life through our trials. Instead of, "Oh no! Here we go again. ONE MORE TRIAL." We need to start taking control of our thoughts and take the authority God has given us and say, "Trials? Alright, another opportunity to walk in God's authority and recognize God's favor in my life through all of this!"
If you are like me, this one little verse is so convicting. My thought life can be so out of control. MANY times I just want to give up and give in. But, the first step each of us is going to have to learn is to start the process by getting our minds in the right place. In order to persevere, we first have to set our mind on Christ and the joy that comes from the grace He extends in the midst of our trials.
Did you think you can get that much out of one verse? I never realized it either, until I started digging into the Word. I can't wait to hear what you have to share. Take some time... look deeper into this verse. Start studying the next verses. Next time we may cover more, or we may just keep our turtle walk through the Word. Slow and easy wins the race, right?
Stay tuned for next Friday when we talk about the following verses and Perseverance.