Summary: A further look at the issue of trials and temptations in the life of a Christian.
Trials and Temptations - Pt. 2
This week we will be returning to the issue of trials and temptations as addressed in James chapter 1. James starts off with a challenge. "Don’t give up." Remember testing is a process and as a process we know that it is ongoing with many phases. However there is an outcome to this process, purification and strength.
God blesses those who perservere to the end. Perserverance proves your faith. You will stand for that which you believe in. The blessing of abundant life awaits those who perservere. This blessing shines like a crown. It is a sign of honor, victory and joy. I was watching a documentary on Marine basic training the other night. The end reward of boot camp was the honor of being recognized as a United States Marine. The honor of receiving that medal for completion of training, made all the pain and weariness worthwhile for those recruits. Imagine the reward of perseverance for God’s kingdom. The crown of abundant life indicates your royal lineage.
Now let’s step back from trials and look at temptation. Having Jesus as your Saviour doesn’t mean temptation won’t come. In fact we are told "when" temptation comes. It’s not a matter of "if", but "when." Even Christ was tempted. You need to realize though that temptation is a form of testing, but not of God’s design. Temptation is an inner turmoil. The natural response is to blame others when we succumb to temptation. Just look at Adam and Eve -
“he/she made me do this.” I see some of you laughing, that doesn’t hit home does it? Temptation comes from the evil nature of our flesh. Keep this in perspective, God does nothing that does not glorify His name. God does not lure people into a tempting situation just to see if they will stand or fall.
The true culprit is the sinful inclinations within us.
You see our desires lead us in directions we don’t want to go. Remember this if nothing else...you are one sin away from what you said you would not do. When we give in to temptation we start a snowballing process of one sin leading to the next. Consider David’s sin with Bath-Sheba. A lustful look ended up in adultery and murder.
Know the true nature of God, anything else is not what’s best for you. All that is good and perfect comes from God:
The same God who gives these gifts, is the same God who created all things. He does not change like shadows in changing light, instead God remains constant. We are the only ones that move...closer and farther. God has made us the most important of all His creation. We have been reconciled by the Word of Truth. Jesus is the Word of Life, the Word of Truth.
He has cleansed us and set us in a place of honor through Jesus His son.
When you face trials realize that you are being strengthened. Realize that abundant life in Jesus awaits you. Persevere and run from evil for God has made a way.