My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations;…
The first thing he taken notice of is their sufferings — the troubles to which they are exposed on account of their faith in Christ. By and by he will have plenty to say of their sins, of conduct unbecoming Christian believers, conduct he will be sure to rebuke. If you see it to be your duty to point out a man's sins to him, do not do it till you are quite sure you have let him see that you feel for him with all your heart, and that you have no other wish than to do him good.
1. It verified the faith. Without the trial there might have been suspicion about the reality or the strength of it. The trial came and the faith endured. If you suffer because you are a Christian, this tries you whether you are a Christian. If you suffer in what we call the course of Providence, this tries you whether you have faith in Him who guides and governs all things. And so in every event of life that seems antagonistic to your welfare, it is a test of the reality of your faith, and, therefore, a ground of joy.
2. Trial not only verifies faith, it strengthens it as well, strengthens it so that it is stronger through the trial than it was before. The reason is plain. Whatever exercises faith strengthens faith; whatever compels it to come forth from disuse, whatever rouses it to assert its existence, increases its strength. "Our antagonist is our friend." Trials provoke faith, and the best thing that can happen to it is just to be provoked. You wrap up a child's limbs, you give them no free play, you compress the very channels in which the life-blood flows, and you wonder there is no increase of strength.
(1) The purpose of all trial is the trying of faith. Life is the very sphere of trial, and everything that crosses us is a cross in the way we travel to a purer and a stronger faith.
(2) Every kind of a trial which the Christian experiences has its special joy. There is a drop of pleasure in every bitter cup which is peculiar to that cup.
(3) The beneficence of the trial-character of life; of the demand for verification of faith. Would you go to sea in a ship whose engines had not been tested? What about the journey to the eternal would?
(4) How does a man come out from his trials? On a higher plane of spiritual life or on a lower one? He may see here the test.
(5) There are trials before us that may be too strong for us. Let us see to it that our faith now be so confirmed that it will be more than conqueror over whatever the future may contain.
Parallel VersesKJV: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;