1. We Solve the Problem of Pain By Approaching it with Humility, No Arrogance
The early church called James “camel knees” because of the hours that he spent on his knees in prayer. His was a life of deep humility.
I admire James because of how he begins his book:
James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings. (James 1:1)
What you may not know is that James grew up in the same home with Jesus; but James doesn’t describe himself like that. He could have written:
James, an apostle. (Galatians 1:19a)
James, leader of church at Jerusalem. (Acts 21:18)
James, pillar of church. (Galatians 2:9)
James, brother of Jesus. (Galatians 1:19b)
He could have exalted himself in so many ways. However, James chose not to! He was too busy being on his knees in humble prayer.
So, we face our pain with humility as we understand that Jesus is Lord, and we are not. He knows us far better than we know ourselves. He knows what we need when we need it.
2. We Solve the Problem of Pain By Choosing Joy Instead of Misery
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds. (James 1:2)
“Count it all joy!” What an unnatural reaction. It’s supernatural!
One of the most important characteristics that separates mature Christians from immature Christians is right here.
When difficulties come to immature Christians, they tend to say, “Oh, everything’s against me! I’m angry; I’m bitter; I’m disappointed. Joy isn’t anywhere in sight. I know that God never liked me in the first place! I’m bitter and disappointed, I quit.”
However, the mature Christian says, “The last time I had difficulty, I faced it, trusted God, and grew. I’ll see what God intends to teach me this time around.”
There seems to be little difference between joy and happiness according to the dictionary. But a sharp distinction is made in the Bible.
Happiness has to do with circumstances. Joy has to do with a deep sense of well-being and contentment regardless of circumstances. Joy is something we deliberately choose.
Notice James says, “Count it all joy when, not if, you fall into fiery trials.”
I’ve met too many Christians who thought that when they received Christ as their Savior, all of their troubles were basically over. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, God says that if we’re not having troubles, then we’re not His children—because all of God’s children have troubles (Hebrews 12).
Christians aren’t people living without problems. Christians are people who have the Problem-Solver living within.
Christians choose joy.