Temptations, trials, and faith!
Scripture reading for November 17th: James 1:1-18
I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to count it joy when a trial of my faith comes my way. There is something in each person that would prefer good times, pleasure, and the easy life. But inside of us, there is also a desire for adventure and excitement that comes from entering into the unknown. I am learning how to embrace God’s plan for my own life and to ‘consider it pure joy’ when I face the inevitable trials. Well, maybe my joy isn’t too pure yet!
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. When tempted, now should say “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone, but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown gives birth to death.” (James 1:12-15) James tells us it is a blessing to stand firm in a trial. God will reward those who stay true to Him through these testings with a crown of eternal life.
One of the temptations in a trial or test is to blame God for it. James reassures us that God is holy and is not capable of evil or of tempting anyone. The source of temptation is found in our own flesh and it’s desires. We are first enticed by the lusts of our eyes or flesh and then when we yield, we are dragged away by sin. It is likened to a pregnancy that comes from an act of passion. Conception takes place, and when the sin-baby is full grown, it is birthed to bring us death. (Romans 6:23)
But we shouldn’t allow our flesh to entice us! The good gifts we desire really come from God in the promises of His word. He has good plans for His children. His gifts are all good and he has chosen to give us birth through His word. If we will put our faith in Him, He will bring us through all trials and tests. He is the ‘Father of Lights’ who is faithful to shine His love into our lives through every trial.