Putting God's Word into Practice…

James 1:9-18 Trials, Temptation and a Good God

on August 22, 2013

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (13-15)  

Temptation is not from God because temptation is not good. It has one path and leads only to death.  When we feel tempted, it is coming from our own desire and propensity to gratify self–whether it’s being tempted to become angry, to overeat, or to look at porn, etc.  Temptation is not a sin!  We are all tempted, because we are all human.  Temptation is one step away from sin.  The choice to pursue or flee temptation is ours.  Sin starts as a response to a thought–very small–then it grows and grows until it consumes us.

There are two quotes I think of when it comes to the path of sin and temptation:  

“Sin will always take you farther than you intend to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you thought you’d pay.”

“Don’t even taste what you don’t want to be hungry for!”

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him…Do not be deceived my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (12, 16-17)

Trials are allowed by God to test our faith.  Trials lead to good things–wisdom, endurance, strength, life, and eternal reward.  All good things come from God.  He is steadfast and unchanging, and He wants to develop His character in us!  We need every good and perfect gift He gives to stand the test.  

I just finished reading The Hunger Games. (I’m always a few years behind.)  During the games, when there is a dire need, sponsors will pay to have gifts parachuted to the contestants for their aid and survival.  That is kind of how it works with our trials and God’s goodness.  He sees everything we are going through, and knows our every need.  Unlike The Hunger Games, we don’t have to earn the gifts, we just have to ask!

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11)

How we view God impacts our perception of our trials.  When we believe that He is good, generous, impartial, and gracious, we can accept our trials as a gift perfectly suited to us to help us become more like Him. And we can know that every grace He gives us during trials–wisdom, patience, strength, etc…–is meant to help us endure.

God is good!  He doesn’t do anything that would lead us to sin or break faith, but He does allow things that build and strengthen our faith.

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