Fear is one of the Christian's greatest enemies. When a Christian has fear in his life he cannot fully trust in God. Fear paralyzes, frustrates and even cripples his spiritual walk. Often in the midst of a great trial the fear can be so thick we can only think of one thing. How do I get through this trial? This is actually the wrong attitude to have in the midst of a trial. The reality is that God wants to teach you in your trial.
James 1:2 tells us to "consider it all joy" when we face various trials. Normally we are happy when we escape trials and temptations, but here in this verse James is telling us we should rejoice when these trials come. A Christian's Joy flows right on through trouble and darkness.
Are you joyful that you have been judged worthy of this persecution? The trials we may face in our Christian walk count it an occasion for unreserved rejoicing. James never suggested to his readers that Christianity would be for them an easy way. It is not because of God’s displeasure that His people will be called upon to go through these trials, rather if one professes Jesus Christ as his Savior he can be assured that his faith will be tested at some time. James says, “Count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations.” Throughout the Bible we see trials of believers are the norm, it is to be expected.
Right knowledge of trials makes it possible to have a joyful attitude. The word “knowing” in this verse is a connective to verse 2 when the author writes, “Count it all joy”. James is saying that we can have this joy when we have the right knowledge of what these trials are for. The readers’ must fully understand that what is involved is the testing of their faith. These trials and temptations are the means in which their faith is being proved. It is in trials that we learn to be more like Christ. James 1:3 tells us that we should know that the testing of our faith produces in us patience.
This right knowledge of trials makes it possible to have a joyful attitude. When we understand that God is shaping and molding us to be more like him we can be glad in times of trouble. Sometimes Christians rebel against the will of God. Their choices become based on what is best for them rather than what will glorify God. A steadfast Christian chooses to do those things that bring God glory. No matter what the circumstance he strives to do what is best for the ministry of his Savior. Patience is developed only in tribulation (Romans 5:3 “Tribulation works patience”) and the steadfast Christian stands firm in his belief and trust in God.
The goal of tribulation and trial is to mold the Christian to be a more useful vessel for the Lord’s work. James 1:4 says to “let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect.” This does not mean absolute perfection, as though the believer would then never sin. In this verse the meaning of patience (or more specifically patience perfect work) is spiritual maturity. James is saying that a perfect Christian on earth is one who starts our doing what God would have him to do and keeps on doing it until the end.
The same is true in our spiritual walk. That is exactly what James is trying to say when he writes, “Let patience have her perfect work”. The Bible says in Isaiah 40:28 “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?” It is in our trials that we see and seize the ultimate goal. That is why Paul can write and say, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).” James writes to believers and tells them that they these trials help them become perfect and mature.
James goes on to say that not only will letting patience have her perfect work help develop us to be more mature, but also we will be entire lacking nothing. The word entire is defined as, “having no reservations or limitations; complete”. It refers to being whole. God would not have any lacking or wanting. If a man meets his testing with the right attitude (counting it all joy), if his decisions are such that they bring glory to God, he develops an unwavering consistency. Each day he lives facing trials the way God would have him to he becomes more and more a complete Christian wanting nothing.
Considering everything that God wants you to teach you in your trial it really does seem quite inappropriate to focus your energies on getting through the trial.
 For further explanation of this point see Manford Gutzke, Plain Talk on James (Zondervan Publishing House, 1969), 14.
Posted by Caleb