How can we endure the tests and temptations of life? First, we must understand where they come from. Then we can work towards the incentives the Lord has made available to us. Those incentives include godly blessings for this life and the crown of life for the next.
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
Tests and temptations come from two different directions. Tests are generated by the Lord, but temptations do not originate with God. Verse 13 says,
And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. James 1:13
So if God doesn’t tempt us then who does? The only natural answer would be, Satan does. But that isn’t the right answer. Verse14 tells us,
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. James 1:14
Different things will tempt different people. One person might be tempted to steal something where another person won’t be. The other person though may be tempted to look at porn where the first person isn’t. When we yield to our temptations, the outcome usually isn’t good. Look at what verse 15 says.
These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. James 1:15
Dealing with the Tests and Temptations of Life
Here is how Satan fits into this. He is a master at dangling just the right temptations in front of each of us. Our verse for today, though says we are to patiently endure temptations. We can do that with the strength of the Holy Spirit helping us.
Testing on the other hand comes from God. He will bring a variety of tests our way helping us to grow and depend on the Lord. Temptations will always lead us toward sin where testing will lead us toward God. Verse 16 says,
So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. James 1:16
Sadly there are some who when they fail a test and will blame God for being against them. Or they will accuse God of not loving them. Once we understand that tests help us grow in the Lord, we will experience victory and spiritual growth. Victory in this produces a life that is righteous or in other words, pleasing to God.
Check out a related post on the same subject matter called, Would You Rather Be Tested Or Experience Temptation?
Lord, protect us from being tempted in fulfilling the sinful desires that are within us. Also, help us to grow through the tests that you send our way. Thank you for your promise of a crown of life.
James 1 is a wonderful chapter. You can read it here.
You would enjoy reading the cornerstone post on discipleship called How To Be An Effective Devoted Disciple Of Jesus
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