The apostle James tells us in James 1:2 that we should “count it all joy” when we go through a trial. But, how can we do that?
The key word is count. This was a financial term used by book keepers and means “to evaluate.”Christians are told to “count” our trials as occasions for joy. We can only do this when we know what God is doing in our trials.
The nineteenth-century pastor, F. B. Meyer explained the valuable product of our trials in a way that, although dated, gets the point across. “A bar of iron worth $2.50, when wrought into horseshoes is worth $5. If made into needles it is worth $175. If into penknife blades it is worth $1,625. If made into springs for watches it is worth $125,000. But, what a ‘trial by fire’ that bar must undergo to be worth this! But … the more it is hammered and passed through the heat, beaten, pounded, and polished, the greater its value.”
In the same way, God uses trials in our lives to bring about good. Romans 8:28 reminds us that God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. This is an unlimited promise made to a specific people. Only those who truly love God and have put their faith in His Son Jesus can claim this promise. But those who believe that Christ died for their sins can be assured that God is working all things for their good.
Instead of attempting to escape our trials, we should trust that God is working through them. I once came across the story of a boy who found a cocoon attached to a small branch of a tree. He took the branch home and kept it securely in his room. When spring came, the butterfly began to struggle to escape from its prison. Wanting to help, the boy found a pair of small scissors and made a slight incision in the cocoon. Soon the butterfly emerged in all its radiant beauty. But it never flew! Having escaped all the struggle to emerge from the cocoon, the muscles of its wings never developed. The boy’s good intentions robbed the butterfly of its power to soar.
Don’t try to get out of your trials. They have a purpose. Count them all joy because you know that God is working in them to produce something good.