“Count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” ~ James 1:2 (NKJV)
“When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” ~ James 1:2 (NLT)
Count it all joy? Consider it joy? Really?
How does one count it all joy when loved ones die, health fades, bank accounts are empty, the past haunts, family members torment, and the enemy taunts. How does one count or consider it all joy?
As I pondered the verse in James, I researched the words used by James in the Greek and also by using the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (see notes below). Count and consider are deep words filled with meaning and truth.
There is great authority when we take time to consider what God has done, for it leads our thinking on the right path, the true path of remembering and knowing God is in control and that all things will work for good for those who are called according to His purposes.
I also went back to Beth Moore’s Bible study on James. I highly recommend her study — James: Mercy Triumphs. James isn’t suggesting a flippant Pollyanna attitude when facing trials. Beth Moore writes, “The word consider calls us to a mental exercise. Not an emotion. James isn’t telling us to have a knee-slapper over all we’re going through. He’s telling us to think, to reflect, and to esteem the unalloyed joys available to us ‘whenever [we] experience various trials.’”
I look back on my life at the trials I’ve come through – molestation, rape, being stalked, cancer, divorce, eight surgeries, chronic illness, and many others – and I can tell you with joy all that God has done in my life through those trials.
I can tell you with great joy how nothing has been wasted. God has redeemed, restored, and turned everything the enemy meant for evil into good things. By God’s grace, I can count the amazing blessings that have come through those trials. God’s abundant blessings ripple and ripple throughout eternity. And I consider how God will use whatever comes next, because our God is a great God!
I can joyfully watch what God will do, trust that He will guide, and my faith will grow as I press deeper into Him. And He will be with me (and with you), He is already there, and He will be there for whatever is to come, whatever may happen, and whatever will happen.
Joy comes by focusing above the thorns of trials and suffering.
Joy comes when we count what God has done.
Joy comes when we remember that nothing is impossible for God and all things will be restored and redeemed in His loving hands.
God never wastes a moment of our time, or our pain, so count (and consider) it all joy!
Mining for Treasure
Will you join me in considering what God is doing in (and through) your trials?
Will you consider how the trials of your past have helped in your spiritual growth and the spiritual growth of others?
Will you count it all joy, because the joy of the Lord comes as we consider all God does and all He will do through the trials.
Will you please take the time to pray and write out the ways God has worked and is working in your life?
Reflect on the notes from Lexicon Strong’s from the original Greek. The words are so rich and filled with joyful treasures!
Count – Lexicon :: Strong’s G2233 – hēgeomai ἡγέομαι
To lead, to go before, to be a leader, to rule, command, to have authority over, a prince, of regal power, governor, viceroy, chief, leading as respects influence, controlling in counsel, overseers or leaders of the churches, used of any kind of leader, chief, commander, the leader in speech, chief, spokesman, to consider, deem, account, think.
The KJV translates Strongs G2233 in the following manner: count (10x), think (4x), esteem (3x), have rule over (3x), be governor (2x), misc (6x).
Consider – Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
To consider, to view attentively, to sit by; to sit. The literal sense is, to sit by or close, or to set the mind or the eye to; hence, to view or examine with attention.
- To fix the mind on, with a view to a careful examination; to think on with care; to ponder; to study; to meditate on.
- To view attentively; to observe and examine.
- To attend to; to relieve.
- To have regard to; to respect.
- To take into view in examination, or into account in estimates.
- In the imperative, consider is equivalent to, think with care, attend, examine the subject with a view to truth or the consequences of a measure. So we use see, observe, think, attend.
- To requite; to reward; particularly for gratuitous services.
CONSIDER, v.i. 1. To think seriously, maturely or carefully; to reflect.
To deliberate; to turn in the mind; as in the case of a single person; to deliberate or consult, as numbers; sometimes followed by of; as, I will consider your case, or of your case.