Turning Trials Into Triumphs

Sometime ago there was an article in USA Today entitled “Bad Times Spawn Great Start Up.” It documented some notable successes that have been generated out of the ashes of economic downturns.  Sixteen of the thirty corporations in the Dow Jones industrial average trace their origin to a time of recession.  Walt Disney lost an acting job as a movie extra and started his famous cartoon company in a garage during tough times between 1923-1934.  William Hewlett and David Packard teamed up in Silicon Valley in 1938 during the Great Depression.  And the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, dropped out of college during the recession of 1975 and began Microsoft.

Yes, good things can come from troublesome times.  This is a Bible principle.  The book of James tells us how to do it.  If we are to grow, mature and become complete in Christ it is necessary to triumph over trials. 

“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.  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”  (Jas 1:2-5).

There are four key words that will determine our success in turning trials into triumphs. 

(1) COUNT.  It begins with a joyful attitude in spite of the trial. “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”  Really?  Yes!  “Outlook determines outcome and attitude determines action,” wrote commentator Warren Weirsbe.  It is not what happens to you, it is what happens in you that counts.  In Choose Your Attitude Change your Life, Robert Jeffers wrote, “We can choose to allow life’s circumstances either to strengthen us or to destroy us.  The determining factor is our attitude.”

(2) KNOW. You need an understanding mind.  What do Christians know that makes trials easier?  We know that faith is always tested. The father of Faith, Abraham, teaches us that lesson.  But remember God tests us to bring out the best, the devil tests us to bring out the worse.  We know that trials work for the believer, not against him (Rom. 8:28).   And we know that trials can help us to mature, grow stronger and be more Christ like.

(3) LET.  A surrendered will is necessary.  God cannot construct our character without our cooperation.  According to Ephesians 2:8-10 the work of God is three-fold.  There is a work God does for us, which is salvation.  There is the work God does in us, which is sanctification.  And there is the work God does through us which is service.  But God cannot work against our will.  He cannot work on us, in us, or through us without our consent.  We must let Him.

(4) ASK.  If we are to turn trials into triumphs, we must have a believing heart.  James said to ask in Faith.  We cannot doubt.  In James 4:3 he tells us to ask with the right motive.  In James 5:16 we are commanded to ask fervently.  All of this demonstrates a heart that is trusting in God, even when times are tough.

A joyful attitude.  An understanding mind.  A surrendered will.  And a believing heart. There is much wisdom in these four imperatives.  They will aid you along with God’s grace in turning your trials into triumphs.

4 Comments

Filed under Adversity, Trials

4 responses to “Turning Trials Into Triumphs

  1. Cameron

    Praise God! I’ve hear it said in another way that has really stuck with me -“There must be a death before there’s a resurrection.” Only God has the power to lift us out of the grave, and only He has the power to take our situations that we naturally perceive as bad things and turn them into something beautiful.

  2. Frank

    Thanks Ken for a good article!

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