2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials (James 1).
The word “encounter” means “to fall into as to be encompassed” and was the same word used to describe the man who “fell among robbers” in our Lord’s parable of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30). The word “consider” (hēgeomai—from which we get our word “hegemony,” meaning “dominance” or “mastery”) means “to lead” or “go before.” Thus, the idea is this: when “various trials” encompass us, we need to let “joy” dominate our attitude. Why? Because “trials” (meaning “proofs”) are meant to do just that—show proof that we indeed have faith, and not that we do not have it.
When The Moody Church in Chicago was built, a new design was used to create a balcony with no pillars (which would have blocked people’s view down below). The trouble was, however, no one would sit in the balcony because they couldn’t see how it could support them. So Moody had 200-lb. sandbags placed on each chair—not to make the balcony collapse—but to prove that it would not.
Lord, we thank You that trials sometimes encompass us—not to bring us down—but to prove our faith. Help us This Day, should any trials come, to remember this and let joy fill our hearts. Amen.