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I heard a sermon years ago on this passage. The preacher preached on the temptations divers experienced while diving. He talked about the dangers of the temptation to stay down too long and run out of air in his tank. He talked about how tempting it was to come up to the surface too fast. I wondered, “Just how many scuba divers were there when this passage was written?

His credibility took a hit in my book. It is always a good idea to look up words and study the passage a bit before preaching it. “Divers” means “various.” Boy, does that change the meaning of the passage!

This means that I shouldn’t be surprised when various problems arise in my life. I shouldn’t be amazed that I meet opposition. Ok, I can accept that. Everyone deals with difficulties, whether they are saved or not. Christians get diseases, get in accidents, and have flat tires at inconvenient times. They even get stuck at red lights. I’ve known Christians that have received traffic tickets!

The phrase I choke on in this verse is: “count it all joy.” I looked up this word to see what it means. I discovered Strong’s Concordance says, “calm delight.” I must say that I have never felt “calm delight” when a traffic light turns red as I approach it – especially if I am running late. I can’t say that I feel “calm delight” when I am having a bad Parkinson’s day. “Calm delight” isn’t how I would describe how I felt when my lunch from Sonic caused a sonic boom in my digestive system.

After praying about this and reading on in the book of James, I realize that I can have joy because the divers temptations have a purpose. All I need to do is remember that when I experience them.

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;” James 1:2.

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff