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  • 📊 James 1:2-3 | Phrase by Phrase, Greek and Trivia

📊 James 1:2-3 | Phrase by Phrase, Greek and Trivia

PLUS: Digging deep, facing trials, and how to embrace hard times..

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Happy Tuesday! If you missed yesterday’s email, you can read it here (scroll down after clicking to read it).

📧 In today’s email…

  • Has James gone CRAZY? 🧐 

  • The key to facing trials head on 🚆 

  • Reflect: 🤔 

  • Tuesday Trivia 📊

 🧠 Memorize

see if you know what words go in the blanks

Count it all ___, __ ________, when you meet ______ of various _____,

for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

James 1:2-3

(Answer key below. You can also use our free web app to memorize in your favorite translation. Set up instructions are linked at the bottom of this email.)

Has James gone crazy? 🤔

Today, let’s dig into our passage a bit:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

James 1:2-3

We saw yesterday that James knows a thing or two about challenging times, so when he speaks about trials?

We should listen.

But what he says is shocking!

Count it all joy…when you meet trials of various kinds

Excuse me, James…really? The response to trials is…joy?

Let’s make sure we understand our terms here for trial, testing and steadfastness:

  • The Greek word for trial” (peirasmos) can refer to an outward experience of trial or process of testing, or an inner temptation or enticement to sin.

    • James discusses both in his letter, but here in v2 he’s likely talking about external trials like sickness, financial hardship, and death.

  • “Testing” (dokimion) in v2 refers to a kind of testing that leads to approval. In other words, some kind of testing that shows the true colors or proves the worth of something as a result

  • 🔥 Fire: the perfect image is how gold is heated with extreme fire to refine away its impurities, leaving it a more pure and valuable product

  • Lastly, the term for “steadfastness” (hupomonē) in v3 speaks of endurance, perseverance, and an active and engaged form of patience

    • Throughout the NT, Christians are called to cultivate this character quality because it's so essential for enduring faith!

So James is saying that trials are an opportunity for testing...that produces or leads to a deeper endurance…to continue in the faith!

TrialsTestingEndurance

So is James crazy? Noisn’t crazy because this transformation is really worth it!

Through testing, we are refined like metal in a fire.

We become people with persevering faithfulness to God.

It’s how we become more like Jesus - which at the end of the day, is at the core of what God wants for us.

Facing Trials Head On 🚆 

James gives us a very helpful insight into how we can face the various trials that will come our way:

We adopt the right mindset 🧠

Think About It GIF by Identity

James uses 2 crucial terms in verses 2-3 that both relate to the mind and to our thinking.

In verse 2, the term translated “count it” in the ESV could also be translated “consider it.”

The believer is to actively and intentionally consider and think about the difficulties in life as opportunities for joy. 

Why? 

This leads us to the second term translated, “for you know” or “because you know.”

Believers can consider trials an opportunity for joy because they know what they lead to:

greater endurance!

Putting these together, James teaches us that we need to engage our minds if we want to experience joy in the midst of the real world.

As a Christian, you can decide right here and now (and over and over again) that when trials come…

…you will look forward to the steadfastness it will produce.

This is the big picture perspective that enables us to respond to trials with an attitude of joy.

Apply & Respond: Don’t Waste Hard Times 🙏 

“When the going gets tough, the tough get praying.”

This is great, but we need to be more specific about what we “get praying” for.

When going through hard things, it’s easy to pray and ask God to remove the hardship.

But instead of running from hardship, let our prayers be for God to produce steadfastness in us.

Pray 🙏 

Lord, don’t let me waste the hardship I’m going through by just trying to get out from under it.

Use this circumstance to refine me and mold me into the person you created me to be. Amen!

Tuesday Trivia 📊 

Click one of the options below! Let’s see how you do..

James, the brother of Jesus, had two nicknames: James the Just and one other. Which was his other nickname?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Answer key  

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

James 1:2-3

Have a blessed Tuesday 🌮

Best,

Kieran & Isaac

p.s. My (Kieran’s) son and our third child was born on Easter morning! Meet Judah Joseph!

Thanks to those who were praying for us! Mom and baby are healthy and happy!

The name Judah means “Praise the Lord!” and we are certainly praising God for him!

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