Consider it all joy!

April 21, 2018

The world is falling apart – kids shooting kids in school, grown men claiming that they’re women, women claiming that they’re men, and public schools districts allowing boys to use girls’ bathrooms.

 

Add to all of this people’s own personal problems—marital problems, personal problems, social problems, medical problems, and the list goes on.

 

Indeed, the world is falling apart, but for those who trust and believe and obey the Bible—the Christian—this is all consistent with Scripture.  And things will continue to get worse and worse.

 

But for the Christian, the Bible says, “Rejoice!”

 

What?  Why?  How can this be true?

 

This is true ultimately because God is in control.

 

Psalm 103:19 "The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all."

 

God is good.

God is in complete control.

Your personal trials are no accident.

God has planned them specifically for you.

God has a good purpose in your trials for you.

God is transforming Believers into the image of Jesus Christ.

Our life is not our own.  The Believer is a slave of the Lord Jesus Christ, living his life to glorify Jesus.

 

Therefore, consider your trials to be joyful based on what they produce.

 

James 1:2-4 "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

 

First, focus on thinking joyful thoughts!

James 1:2 "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,"

 

Our thinking makes all the difference in the world.

Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”

 

Think rightly.  Think positively.  Think faithfully.

Your thoughts are the engine that drives the train!

 

But it’s easy to be a cynic, a pessimist, or a negative person.

Sin can direct our thinking this way.  And James knew this.

 

“Consider it all joy, my brethren”

 

This is the first command of James: “Think!”

 

D. Edmond Hiebert calls this Greek word for “consider” a “mental evaluation adopted as the result of due deliberation, the conscious acceptance of a definite inner attitude.”

 

In other words, “Think!”

 

This word pictures a thought process.

Victory starts with the right thinking.

 

“All joy”

James places this upfront in the original Greek for emphasis.

“All joy consider it!”

 

We should consider our trials as nothing but JOY based on what they are producing—Christlikeness!

 

So ask yourself:  Is Christlikeness really my goal?  Is Christlikeness really what I want?

 

Jay Adams: “The right outer response to our trials depends first on having the right inner response in our thinking.”

 

Don’t focus on how bad you feel; focus on 

thinking biblical thoughts—joyful thoughts.    

 

Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

 

 

2 Corinthians 10:5 "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,"

 

God sends us trials to strengthen our faith and to make us more like Christ.  Consider that a joy!

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