James 1:2-4 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
We all face trials and testings. Choices we make will bring about trials and testings. We all reap what we sow. We will also gain spiritual knowledge through those times.
In verse 4 we see that God desires for us to reach the level of being perfect. He does not mean perfect in being sinless. That is impossible. But He means being a mature Christian. We should come out of our trials stronger and a better Christian than we were going into it. Our faith should also be stronger.
In verse 2 we see that we should count it ALL joy and not become bitter as a result of our trials. God designs our trials to bring us joy and not heartache. Yes...our trials will cause heartache...that is not what I'm saying. But God doesn't design them to cause us heartache even though He knows they will. My brother's murder brought much heartache and I'm sure it will for a long time to come. I can honestly say though that I have joy as a result of what I've seen God do in this trial. He has blessed me with much grace. That brings me joy! My sister and my parents and I are closer now than ever before. That brings me joy! There are many other things that I've seen God do that has brought me joy. He has done so much for me through this time.
It brings me joy also that God has enabled me to want to see the man who murdered my brother to get saved. My flesh wants him to go to Hell for what he did...but the Holy Spirit has helped me to pray for his salvation.
I pray for God's will to be done in this situation. I was upset when the man bonded out of jail. My first thought was that he needed to stay in jail. But then God reminded me that my prayer is to see God's will done and this man be saved. God allowed him to bond out. Then it came to me that if I'm going to pray for his salvation I need to accept all that happens and pray that God get the glory. There is someone in society that God wants to use to be a witness to him. That person would not have had opportunity to witness to him while he was in jail. So now I'm praying for whoever it is that God wants to use to witness to him.
I could choose to be angry and bitter about all of this but there is no joy in that. I choose to count it ALL joy!!