One very large evangelical Bible Study website makes a claim as follows: “Today, _____ is the most-visited Christian website in the world with more than 140-150 million views per month.” That same site has produced a list of the 100 MOST-READ Bible verses (i.e., read on their site). I do not question the statistics they supply. I am confident it is a very popular site. It probably has grown since the posting of those numbers. I use it occasionally myself.
I am convinced that a helpful exercise is to study about these MOST READ Bible verses. If that many people are reading these 100 verses, would I not be better prepared to reach out to those people if I could demonstrate at least a hint of familiarity with and understanding of those verses? What a great conversation-starter, at least.
So then, by one count, number 79 of 100 most read Bible verses happens to be: James 1.3. The Book of James is an amazingly practical letter. The person who spends quality time with this epistle learns much about how to be a strong and faithful Christian!
The first part of the sentence of which James 1.3 is a part is the previous verse; certainly verse 4 also needs consideration since it gives the RESULT. James 1.2-4 reads: 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 (NKJV).
When James writes that we should COUNT it all joy, he uses the Greek word which Louw & Nida define as: to hold a view or have an opinion with regard to something. James advises Christians to have a certain view of trials. That view is influenced especially by the knowledge of the reward that comes to the one who is not swayed away from faithfulness to the Lord by the trials one endures in life.
When we read this verse something does seem out of whack, though. HOW can I count trials as something joyful? Burton Coffman quotes from Zerr and from Russel to explain: “‘James could not have meant here that Christians are ‘to pretend that they get joy out of things which are disagreeable, for that would be an act of insincerity.’<9> ‘The true view of temptation or trial is that it is an opportunity to gain new strength through overcoming.’<10>.”
James tells us that the testing of our faith produces patience. What is involved in this TESTING? The original word only is found here and in 1 Peter 1.7. It “was used for coins that were genuine and not debased. The aim of testing is not to destroy or afflict, but to purge and refine. It is essential to Christian maturity, for even Abraham’s faith had to be tested this way (see Gen. 22:1–8). The meaning of patience transcends the idea of bearing affliction; it includes the idea of standing fast under pressure, with a staying power that turns adversities into opportunities. James 1:3” [NKJV Study Bible].
If I count trials I may face as joy, rather than allow them to overcome me and cause me to become unfaithful, James says the cause is that PATIENCE has been produced. David Sain wrote of it: “The word, as often used and understood in our daily usage, signifies the ability to wait, to submissively wait. However, it means far more than that in this text. Here, it signifies the ability to bear, to persevere, to endure. And it is so translated in the New American Standard Version: “…knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:3).” James is teaching us that no matter what, we can overcome trials.
 Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 364.
 David Sain, The Behavior of Faith, 2011 MSOP Lectures, p. 31.