When James writes in his letter to “Consider it all joy when various trials come our way,” he’s given serious thought to how we change behavior and outlook. In my mind he has written the comprehensive guide to taking control of our emotions and thoughts. Wayne Dyer, move over. James has you by two thousand years.
James motivates the person of faith from the very get-go by asking a hard question. Do we of faith really see a God of Love as our Heavenly Father? If so, then we must bring the issue of troubles to the forefront and face the reality that God has changed our troubles into trials. Troubles are endemic, trials are prescriptive. Trouble is tragic, trials are redemptive.
While we certainly cannot know the mind of God, a walk of faith predicated upon a loving God’s involvement means a disciplined re-orientation toward putting troubles into the trials category. This is a mental, emotional AND volitional enterprise. To that end, James uses the words; “Consider” and “all joy” to circumscribe the process we must use to move from an outlook where we have troubles to a place where we experience trials.
Trials, by definition, are stress tests, meant to mold and fine tune the element being tested. Reading through James with this lens in place will help the student understand the process God is using.