From the midst of his trial in Psalms 73 David discovered His God in a more intimate way. What was his trial? It appears it was economically and success related. He was perplexed at how the wicked can do anything and somehow still seem to prosper while he was trying to keep the rules and do right and not making it as well as they were.
His complaint does not turn to praise until he discovers the nearness of God to himself the futility of the ones he was once envying. He calls himself a dumb ox in the presence of God and then speaks of how the Lord took his hand while in His presence.
When we stand and complain and carry on about how bad we have it we are like a dumb ox in the presence of the Lord.
We are in the presence of the Lord the whole time even though it seems difficult and disastrous God is still with us we just aren’t holding His hand because we are too caught up in the moment.
God wants to wisely and tenderly lead us through our trials before He blesses us. The blessing is reaching the place where all we want in heaven and on earth, is Him!
We do o not want to become like those who were discouraged and decided to turn away from the Lord blaming Him for their difficulties, David says they’ll never be heard from again.
We want to be the ones who being refreshed in the very presence of God, and even though things look bad we find we want to tell the world about what He does.
When James says count it all joy, he is encouraging us to tap into a faith that is rooted in the person and work of Christ?
He is likely remembering the words Jesus spoke when He was being tried in the wilderness by Satan, Jesus said in,
Luke 4:4 But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’"
James is saying we can count it all joy because we get the chance to demonstrate to everyone around us that our confidence is in Christ our Savior and we are not in need of the trappings of this world to have joy?
If your joy and my joy is in Christ Jesus then a difficult situation cannot take that away from us. It can inconvenience us and make us uncomfortable, it can even make life difficult for us, but it cannot separate us from His love!
We need to tap into the life that we have been given in Christ!
I know these are tough times but we are not as the world is. We have hope! Count it all joy!
About The Author
- Tim Atchley
- Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
- I currently serve as Senior Pastor of Harvest Church in Knoxville, Tn. I was sent out from Trinity Chapel of Knoxville in 1993 accompanied by my wife Sheila our four children Sarah, Hannah, Josiah & Isaac and a handful of bold, brave and committed believers determined to plant our first church. Pioneering is hard work but well worth the journey. That is why we desire to make disciples of Christ who will, like us, also embrace the call to plant churches.