Commanding Joy

 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.  James 1:2 NASB95

Commanding joy, not just hoping for happiness.

The word in the Greek is translated consider in the NASB95 or invaluable opportunity in the TPT or count in the ESV.


Consider it all joy


See it as an invaluable opportunity


Count it all joy

None of these are the best translation. The OGV would say, “Command joy!”


Command joy to be your response when encountering trials!  OGV

Those who read Interruptions know that I have my own interpretation of the Greek in the New Testament.

The OGV stands for Old Guy Version. My qualifications for translating are being an old guy, having white hair, and a realization that the images of the Greek language are often lost when brought into English.

Better than a Ph.D. in Greek!

The Greek word for consider or invaluable opportunity or count is the word from which we get hegemony in English. In fact, the word pronounced directly from Greek to English is hegemon not count, consider, or opportunity.

Some of you are now using your Google dictionary to look up hegemony. Don’t bother as I’ve done it for you – leadership and dominance.

The Greek word hegemon is often used as a leader, even a prince, with the ability to have influence or command. A twist to the usage in James 1 is that hegemon’s tense indicates present tense – or what is commanded has already been accomplished.

My problem with current translations of James 1:2:  We are to command or count or look at it as an opportunity when encountering a trial. That’s really difficult when we are presently encountering a trial!

Okay, I’m walking across a street, and I notice a dump truck coming toward me at 75 mph. HHHHMMMHHH, I’m going to stick up my hands counting, considering, looking at this as an opportunity for the truck to stop. Hopefully, in time. I have no doubt, absolutely none.

I believe the Greek in James says, “Have joy, command joy, allow joy to consume your doubt because of your faith in what Jesus has already done.”  

Going back to the dump truck illustration with the action already completed as indicated in the original language…

I’m at an intersection. Nicely painted crosswalk and I have the “hurry and walk quickly, Idiot” light indicating it is safe to walk. As I step into traffic, I notice a dump truck driving toward me. I lift my hand indicating “stop” and the driver waves and smiles because he is already stopping.

I’ve always had a problem with James 1 and the exhortation to have joy.

My question is, “How do you have joy when a dump truck is speeding at you?” The joy without doubting makes better sense when life is already intersected, with carefully painted lines, with both go and stop indicators.

All done by Jesus before you were even born.

Even though tragedy still happens, our faith isn’t in hoping to always avoid trouble, but joy in knowing that God has it worked out for our perfection.

Say, the next time that you have a trial, “I command joy over this difficulty. God is in charge. I trust Him.”

Please remember that commanding joy doesn’t work when we jaywalk.

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