James’ words “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (1:2) offer a vital key for turning trials into triumphs. Although we don’t choose to have trials, we can choose how we respond. J. B. Phillips paraphrased it like this: “Don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends!”
British counselor Selwyn Hughes reminds people that trials are our friends only if our goal is to become more like Jesus. If our goal is to avoid difficulties or mishaps, our trials will seem more like intruders.
Hughes admits that he often needs to take his own advice. He recalls a time when he and his wife had pulled off to the side of the road to look at a map. Then a truck swerved and slammed into their car. They escaped injury, but their car was totaled. Then it started to rain! Hughes immediately battled with frustration, apprehension, and anger toward the other driver, and found it extremely difficult to “count it all joy.” But as they waited for the police, he began to focus on how God could use the trial to make him more like Jesus. Gradually, the crisis became his friend.
The next time you face a trial of some kind, make friends with it and allow God to use the situation to make you more like Jesus.
Our loving God transforms us
And makes us like His Son
By using trials and testings
Until His work is done. —Sper
God chooses what we go through; we choose how we go through it.