My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
James never suggested that Christianity would be an easy feat. He writes and warns them that they would fall into “divers temptations”. Diver’s Temptations – peirasmos. Not temptation in our English sense of the word. Rather a trial or testing directed towards an end. The end being that the one tested emerges stronger. Coaches test players in practice which allows performance in games. The point or process of “divers temptations” would be to strengthen and purify and prove the Christian. The queen of Sheba came to test (peirazein / peirasmos) the wisdom of Solomon. God tested Abraham when demanding Isaac as sacrifice. God gave Israel their land, but left the inhabitants there for them to drive out…to be tested. James writes to those who have been persecuted and forced, by God, from their natural homelands and gives them the proper attitude while in such times.
Count it all joy!
Know in advance that these times will come and expect them. Having expected them, grin your way right through them. There will be the test of:
- Sorrows & Disappointments seeking to dwindle faith.
- Seductions seeking to lure us from right.
- Danger, Sacrifice, the Unpopular.
These are not sent to make us fall, but to make us soar. These are not sent to defeat us, but for us to defeat them. They are not to make us weaker, rather stronger. Seeing the end result, we are to get excited when the trial comes. Knowing it was sent to help, not hurt.
Pastor Chance Strickland
Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN