Hot tempers birth arguments and patience births peace. You will not have any trouble with the latter if you are honest, but if you are lazy, you will meet difficulty with the former.
When Hebrew met Hebrew, the one saluted the other with “Peace to you”; for they had learned that the real blessedness of life was to be at peace with all the world, themselves, and God. But when Greek met Greek, the one saluted the other with “Joy to you,” the Greeks being lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of peace. Of course, when they used this salutation, they did not always recognise its full meaning, any more than we, when we say, “Good-bye,” always remember that the word means, that it is a contraction of, “God be with you” But St. James both compels his readers to think of its meaning, by continuing, “Count it all joy when ye fall into manifold trials,” and at once proceeds to put a higher, a Christian, meaning into the heathen salutation. His joy, the joy he wishes them, is not that pleasant exhilaration which results from gratified senses or tastes of which the Greeks were conscious when things went to their mind; nor that heightened and happy consciousness of the sweetness of life which they held to be the supreme good. It was rather the “peace” for which the Hebrew sighed; bat that peace intensified into a Divine gladness, elevated into a pure and sacred delight. It was the joy which springs from being restored to our true relations to God and man, from having all the conflicting passions, powers, and aims of the soul drawn into a happy accord. It was that fine spiritual essence which radiates new vigour and delight through all the faculties and affections of nature when we stay ourselves no longer on the changeful phenomena of time, but on the sacred and august realities of eternity. A peace all shot through and through with the rich exhilarating hues of gladness, this was the “joy” which St. James invoked on the twelve tribes of the Dispersion. (S. Cox, D. D.)