The author and co-author of sixteen best-selling, award-winning books, Dr. Gary Smalley has spent more than thirty years learning, teaching, and counseling in the area of family relationships. His books combined have sold over five million copies. Many have even been translated into other languages.

Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for forty years and live in Branson, Missouri. They have three children, Kari, Greg, and Michael, and six grandchildren.

Below is an excerpt from Chapter 4 of 4 Days to a Forever Marriage by Gary and Norma Smalley. Reprinted by permission from New Leaf Publishing Group.

One of the most helpful life skills I’ve ever learned is what I call treasure-hunting trials or finding treasures in trials. The concept is simple, though doing it can be hard, especially at first. But once you’ve made a habit of it, the benefits are incredible. In a nutshell, the idea is that even in trying times and circumstances, we can find some redeeming good if we’ll just look for it. No matter how bad a situation may be, there’s something worthwhile to be discovered. This concept has been enormously helpful not only to Norma and me, but it has also helped—in some cases revolutionized the lives of—many people with whom I’ve counseled.

Since learning how to do this, treasure-hunting trials has become an emotional and spiritual life raft for me . . . I got the treasure of watching God work things out that I never could have made happen myself. And in the process, I developed a greater trust in Him and in the power of prayer. Now, that’s a treasure worth cherishing.

We’ll catch the true meaning of Christ’s teaching on faith if we pay attention to how He helped distraught people through their trials. Many of us make the mistake of forgetting that Jesus promises to produce maturity, righteousness, and love by letting us go through trials.


For more information about the Smalleys, visit Click on the book cover to the left to watch a short video from Gary and Norma.

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