For those who came to church recently I preached a message from the first four verses in James so if you have a Bible handy take a moment to open it and read those verses but before you do take another moment to ask God to open up your understanding to what you are about to read.
Now the point I’d made in my sermon was the need for us as believers to be calm amidst life’s hysteria or as James puts it in the KJV “divers temptations” (various trials) ! The current pandemic we face in our world with the coronavirus certainly falls into this category ! As a child of God you know you shouldn’t stay worried or be a poor example to those around you. You know you should especially at such times display an air of peace rather than panic. James counsels us to “count it all joy” or decide such events to be a good thing ! Amazing and odd advice from our perspective since when we are under duress the most normal thing to do is fixate on the problem at hand !! The word order is significant in the original language here as “joy” comes first and God’s point is instead of dwelling on the problem we should be delighted that no matter what you are going through as a Christian you are on the winning team ! Oh you have some setbacks in this life but cheer up because you will eventually come out on top due to Him !!
As I told our church it’s kind of like recording a favorite team’s ball game and sitting down to finally watch it after the fact but also knowing they won. You aren’t as fazed when they mess up because you KNOW they are going to win in the end !! You can be at peace even if they fumble the ball, right? So with our trials, if we REALLY believe God is greater than any trial and we are His child, well then you’re going to come out ok in the end !! So, keep plodding ahead doing His will, display an attitude of peacefulness in your testimony. People are going to need to see such folks in the days ahead with so much uncertainty about a virus, toilet paper (ha !) & any old “divers temptation” that comes up. Its YOUR opportunity to draw them to the Lord, now that is a really good thing !!! When you look at it this way you can even find joy in some foreign virus !!!