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Tom
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Count it all Joy James 1:2 #50028
Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:28 PM
Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:28 PM
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Tom Offline OP
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I am looking for a workable definition of what "count it all joy" looks like practically in order to help a friend understand what it means.

Tom

Re: Count it all Joy James 1:2 [Re: Tom] #50029
Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:00 PM
Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: Tom
I am looking for a workable definition of what "count it all joy" looks like practically in order to help a friend understand what it means.

Tom

The CONTEXT reads:

Quote:
James 1:2-4 (ASV) "Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations; Knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience. And let patience have [its] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing."

And one verse that is a salient commentary is:

Quote:
Romans 8:28 (KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

In short, a true Christian is called to look upon all the trials and tribulations which come his way; aka: dark providences, as a blessing from God who is purging away the 'dross' from that remaining sinful nature to produce something of beauty... being transformed into Christ's image (Rom 8:29; 2Cor 3:18; Eph 4:24; Phil 3:21; 1Jh 3:2). This does NOT mean that our sanctification is without pain, sorrow and much anguish at times. This "joy" is one of knowledge and faith based on the truth of God's revealed will concerning how we are being made ready for glory and based on the irrevocable and sure promises of God.


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Re: Count it all Joy James 1:2 [Re: Pilgrim] #50030
Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:54 PM
Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:54 PM
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Pilgrim

Thank you, that is similar to what I was thinking about.

Would you agree with the following taken from Simon J. Kistemaker's Commentary?

Quote:
Practical Considerations in 1:2-4
Verse 2
“Suppose the house burns down or the medical analysis reveals terminal cancer. Should the Christian shout “Praise the Lord!” when calamity strikes? Christians meet frustrations, difficulties, and adversities. They often stumble upon circumstances. Instead of praising God, many often become cynical, skeptical, and even depressed because of these trials. To them and all believers, James declares: “Count it all joy”, when God tests your faith. Remember Job, who triumphed in faith and received God’s richest blessings.”
Verse 3
“A person who is accepted by the admission office of a college or university can say, “I am a student.” But until that person takes tests and examinations, no one can actually affirm that he is a student worthy of the name. The only way to determine the worth of a student’s work is to see his performance on his examination. Dispensing with the examinations would hinder the professors and the school administration in determining the student’s ability.”

By the way, my friend has actually said that his trials have produced the opposite of patience in his life.

Tom


Last edited by Tom; Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:00 PM.
Re: Count it all Joy James 1:2 [Re: Tom] #50031
Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:15 AM
Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:15 AM
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Originally Posted By: Tom
Pilgrim

Thank you, that is similar to what I was thinking about.

Would you agree with the following taken from Simon J. Kistemaker's Commentary?

Quote:
Practical Considerations in 1:2-4
Verse 2
“Suppose the house burns down or the medical analysis reveals terminal cancer. Should the Christian shout “Praise the Lord!” when calamity strikes? Christians meet frustrations, difficulties, and adversities. They often stumble upon circumstances. Instead of praising God, many often become cynical, skeptical, and even depressed because of these trials. To them and all believers, James declares: “Count it all joy”, when God tests your faith. Remember Job, who triumphed in faith and received God’s richest blessings.”
Verse 3
“A person who is accepted by the admission office of a college or university can say, “I am a student.” But until that person takes tests and examinations, no one can actually affirm that he is a student worthy of the name. The only way to determine the worth of a student’s work is to see his performance on his examination. Dispensing with the examinations would hinder the professors and the school administration in determining the student’s ability.”

By the way, my friend has actually said that his trials have produced the opposite of patience in his life.

Tom

1. I'm not overly joyous with Kistemaker's statement. evilgrin The problem for me is his insistence that a real Christian will shout "Praise the Lord" when adversities come his way. This has the ring of Mary Baker Eddy's Gnosticism where one allegedly is to ignore physical pain, etc. Is Kistemaker actually suggesting that one shout forth "Praise the Lord" when news comes that your youngest child has been killed in an accident? scratchchin

2. It also brings back memories of the Pentecostal groups I witnessed who would loudly say, "Praise the Lord" regardless of what was said by someone else. While sitting in a group where individuals were asking for prayer, one woman spoke and said her mother had died that morning and asked if we would pray that God would comfort her in her grief. Immediately, three Charismatic Catholics yelled in unison, "Praise God! Praise you Jesus, praise you Jesus!" repeated until someone scolded them and told them to shutup.

3. When trials and tribulations come it is foolishness to think that one can deny his/her humanity and ignore the pain, disappointment, grief, etc. Even Jesus was distraught to the point of shedding drops of blood when He contemplated the cross. Not once do we read of Jesus telling people that crying and lamenting their pitiful situation that they should smile and shout "Praise the Lord" and go on their merry way jumping for joy. Kistemaker makes reference to Job, but when I read of Job, I do not read that Job lifted up his hands and shouted "Praise the Lord! I am full of joy today because of my near total loss of family and possessions. Hallelujah!" What I read is that Job wished he had never been born (Job 3:3). It took quite some time before Job came to accept all that had happened to him and I seriously doubt his grief over the loss of his children was ever completely removed. He probably also grieved that his wife wasn't taken too. rofl

4. Lastly, re: your friend. It is one thing to not see an increase in patience, or whatever virtue one would like to see increase in their life and be disappointed in that fact. But we know that the God works in 'mysterious ways' and all will accomplish their intended purpose in our lives to the glory of His most excellent name. Rarely do things happen instantly or overnight. wink However, what could be a problem is if your friend becomes bitter toward God because of his trials. Although not all trials are due to our own failures and sin, probably the majority are and thus if we are going to express anything, it should be remorse over ourselves and hatred toward sin. Hebrews 12:1ff comes to mind.

For some reason, I am thinking that this subject has been discussed here on the board before. I betcha if you do a search you will find at least one thread. giggle


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Re: Count it all Joy James 1:2 [Re: Pilgrim] #50032
Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:15 AM
Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:15 AM
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Tom Offline OP
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Pilgrim

The reason I asked you about Kistemaker's quote is because something about it didn't sit right with me, yet his commentary is usually very good.
Thanks
Tom

Re: Count it all Joy James 1:2 [Re: Tom] #50033
Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:15 PM
Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:15 PM
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Pilgrim
Thinking further on what you said, particularly
Quote:
; aka: dark providences, as a blessing from God who is purging away the dross from that remaining sinful nature to produce something of beauty...being transformed into Christ’s image (Rom.8:28 wink

Would you say that what we are to "count it all joy" about is not the dark providences, but the end result, mainly being transformed into Christ's image?

Tom

Re: Count it all Joy James 1:2 [Re: Tom] #50034
Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:24 AM
Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:24 AM
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Originally Posted By: Tom
Pilgrim
Thinking further on what you said, particularly
Quote:
; aka: dark providences, as a blessing from God who is purging away the dross from that remaining sinful nature to produce something of beauty...being transformed into Christ’s image (Rom.8:28)

Would you say that what we are to "count it all joy" about is not the dark providences, but the end result, mainly being transformed into Christ's image?

Tom

Yes, as I tried to explain my position, which I believe is Scriptural, we are not counseled to rejoice over the pain, suffering, grief, etc., but rather to count it all joy that God is working in us that necessary sanctification in preparation to meet Him and for that eternal life on the new earth. We are not called to be masochists nor deny our humanity but rather we are to be constantly discontent with the sin that still remains in us and our penchant to give in to temptations as well as to love the things of this world. It is the dark providences which are sent to cleanse us and lead us along the narrow path until we are called home.

Quote:
Psalms 13:1-6 (ASV) "<<For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.>> How long, O Jehovah? wilt thou forget me for ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider [and] answer me, O Jehovah my God: Lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the [sleep of] death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; [Lest] mine adversaries rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto Jehovah, Because he hath dealt bountifully with me."

This is but one of many examples in just the Psalms alone where the author cries out to God in distress over various sufferings being experienced both from within and without. Yet, in most ever instance, he concludes his song with a note of blessing God for His goodness and mercy.

And, let's not forget that the Spirit of God inspired an entire book, Lamentations, to be written for our instructions. Surely, Jeremiah did not ignore all that was "bad" and dance through the night singing 103 choruses of some mindless mantra (aka: praise chorus) with hands in the air and with a big smile on his face. rolleyes2

But the CONTEXT of the passage in question: James 1:2-3 (ASV) "Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations; Knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience.", is about the Christian's failure to live in pure holiness due to a giving in to temptation; some sin. In short, God the Spirit holds back His restraining influence and power and allows one to follow those remaining sinful desires in order that one may learn in adversity the wages of sin and return to that path of righteousness which is glorifying to our Savior God and most beneficial to us. We are to rejoice knowing that God not only has brought about our falling into temptation but will not leave us there but rather pull us out of the pit we have fallen into in order that we will be a better (sanctified) person.


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Re: Count it all Joy James 1:2 [Re: Pilgrim] #50036
Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:51 PM
Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:51 PM
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Tom Offline OP
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Pilgrim

I was just getting confirmation as to what I understood you to be saying. It is also my take is on the issue.

I was surprised at Kistemaker's example of what "count it all joy" meant. Though, I have to admit, that I have a hard time putting into words what "count it all joy" looks like practically speaking. Saying "praise the Lord" is not a good example, but I can't think of an expression that does justice to the matter.
Not all that long ago, a Bible study leader, said he had an experience where a well meaning Christian quoted Romans 8:28 to some hurting parents, who had a very sick child. He shared how he had to force himself not to rebuke the person soundly.
As I thought about his experience, I couldn't help but be somewhat surprised, especially since I personally have experienced serious sickness and nothing helped me more than other Christians coming beside me an encouraging me with Scripture passages such as Romans 8:28-29.
Everyone but me nodded in agreement with him except me. I had to force myself not to speak up. This is something that at times I haven’t done and got myself in trouble on a few occasions. scold
Thanks again
Tom


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