“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
Maybe James’ exhortation to the brothers and sisters to count it all joy when they meet various kinds of trials is to have a balanced perspective of both the metaphysical and physical in order to maintain peace in the midst of this turmoil we are in. It reminds me of a similar word of encouragement by Jesus – “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world”. Maybe Jesus also wanted to impart to his followers a balanced perspective of maintaining peace and joy in the midst of pain and suffering, by reminding us he (love and compassion within us) has overcome the violent system of the world or empire?
With wars, conflicts and disasters happening around the world, the so-called power mongers probably want the masses to live in fear, so that they can control us, and make us compliant and afraid to travel. Hence, when we choose to enjoy our life and remain in peace and joy, we are carrying out a subversive act of rebellion against the system that is fear-based. We refuse to be distracted by bad news or tragic events, some of which may well be orchestrated by some power-hungry and profit-minded mega-corporations and politicians. As written by Paul, we can have the peace of God that transcends understanding guarding our heart and mind in Christ Jesus.