Summary: Trials and temptations will come. One tempts you to sin against God while the other tests you to trust in God. Which will you follow?
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. James 1:12-18
James: A Faith that Works
A Tale of Two Trials
Intro - Attaching yourself to unclean things
The following incident won the runner-up prize in the 1999 Darwin Awards:
A Vermont native, Ronald Demuth, found himself in a difficult position. While touring the Eagle’s Rock African Safari (Zoo) with a group of thespians from St. Petersburg, Russia, Mr. Demuth went overboard to show them one of America’s many marvels. He demonstrated the effectiveness of "Crazy Glue"... the hard way.
Apparently, Mr. Demuth wanted to demonstrate just how good the adhesive was, so he covered the palms of his hands with the adhesive, and jokingly placed them on the rear end of a passing rhino. The rhino, a resident of the zoo for the past thirteen years, was not initially startled as it has been part of the petting exhibit since its arrival as a baby.
However, once it became aware of its being involuntarily stuck to Mr. Demuth, it began to panic and ran around the petting area wildly making Mr. Demuth an unintended passenger.
"Sally [the rhino] hasn’t been feeling well lately. She had been very constipated. We had just given her a laxative and some depressants to relax her bowels, when Mr. Demuth played his juvenile prank," said James Douglass, caretaker. During Sally’s tirade two fences were destroyed, a shed wall was gored, and a number of small animals escaped. Also, during the stampede, three pygmy goats and one duck were stomped to death.
As for Demuth, it took a team of medics and zoo caretakers’ to remove his hands from her buttocks. First, the animal had to be captured and calmed down. However, during this process the laxatives began to take hold and Mr. Demuth was repeatedly showered with over 30 gallons of rhino diarrhea.
"It was tricky. We had to calm her down, while at the same time shield our faces from being pelted with rhino dung. I guess you could say that Mr. Demuth was into it up to his neck. Once she was under control, we had three people with shovels working to keep an air passage open for Mr. Demuth. We were able to tranquilize her and apply a solvent to remove his hands from her rear," said Douglass. "I don’t think he’ll be playing with Crazy Glue for a while."
What in the world was Mr. Demuth thinking???? I believe it is safe to say that he wasn’t thinking at all! Lest I be too harsh and critical, though, I have to remember all the times in my life when I have "attached" myself to something powerful and big but not God Himself. The results were just as disastrous, and I have often found myself wondering, "What was I thinking?" The truth is, I really wasn’t thinking at all.
I tell you all that to tell you this: when you ask God to be a shield and a protector and defend things in your life that you should never have been attached to in the first place, you can expect to get dirty.
The Promise of God
The Presence of Sin
The Power of Sin
The Price of Sin
The Penalty of Sin
The Perseverance of the Savior