“Testing and tempting”
What is the difference between being tested and being tempted?
Is that clear in our minds?
In our Judges readings there are several examples of God’s people being tested. Chapter 3 starts,
“Now these are the nations the Lord left to test Israel … they were for the testing of Israel to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the LORD” verses 1,4).
Now the epistle of James we started reading today begins with a very challenging statement,
“Count is all joy my brothers (& sisters) when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (verses 2-4).
There is ‘food’ to exercise our minds in careful thought here, consider the principles spelt out in those words! What a challenge – to count a time of difficulty as a “joy” and to avoid any sense of frustration! Let us see such trials as a character forming situations. But some know that in such situations they can easily get frustrated, even angry and even lose their temper. James also says,
“Blessed is the man (or woman) who remains steadfast under trial, for when he (or she) has stood the test he (or she) will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love him” (verse 12).
Notice that: “love him” – not just simply promised to those who obey him.
And as far as tempting is concerned, James adds,
“let no one say when he (or she) is tempted, I am being tempted by God … each person is tempted when he (or she) is lured and enticed by his own desire” (verses 13,14).
Today, the world confronts us more than ever before – with temptations to feed our fleshly desires! A genuine love for the Lord is essential to enable us to subdue these desires – remember what we read two days ago in Hebrews 12:1,2? We live in a world where people try to find someone else to blame for whatever goes wrong; let us avoid getting trapped into that frame of mind. These are times of testing – let us try to cope with all such situations with “joy” and experience a joyful sense of accomplishment when we “overcome”.
The climax to our thoughts today in Revelation 3:19-21.
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne.”
- What would you do if…?
- Fear in your own heart or outside of it
- Troubles testing your faith and giving you patience and good prospects
- Does God stands behind all evil on earth
- Disappointed expectations
- Sometimes we face trials
- I Am Not Alone – By: Kari Jobe
- A love not exempting us from trials
- A Living Faith #4 Effort
- Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
- Rejoice even though bound to grieve
- Faith and trial
- Character is built