June 30, 2020
Good Morning Fellow Travelers,
Read: James 1:2-18
Let no man say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God can’t be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. (Jas 1:13-14 WEB)
Temptation is generally a topic that we would rather not discuss. It is like sin; we try to avoid a fair consideration of it. Temptation is something a Christian faces daily. Maybe we dislike the subject of temptation because we often feel defeated after yielding to our enemy and indulging in sin. But let’s consider temptation in a positive light. Sometimes God actually allows temptations to strengthen us and prepare us for service and a life of victory.
Due to the length of this subject, we are going to divide it into three parts. In the first part, we will discuss the meaning and blessing of temptation. In the last two parts, we want to look at the positive promises that God makes in His word that lead us to victory.
In James 1:2 we find this startling admonition: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers [various] temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Several verses later, James pronounces a blessing on the person who endures or overcomes temptation. A crown is promised to everyone who overcomes. We should rejoice in the temptations that come our way because it gives us an opportunity to be tried and come through victorious.
While temptation is not sin, it is still dangerous. Temptation is engaging in battle with our immortal enemy, Satan. As outlined in James 1:14, “every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lusts and enticed.” We must not yield to sin, for that is not victory. Rather we receive a blessing in resisting and standing strong against the devil’s temptations.
Temptation’s positive testing quality is a benefit to us. We can be refined and tried in the fire of temptation if we allow God to work. Temptation is humbling. We learn our desperate need of Christ’s power to deliver us and are drawn to God through it all.
Remember that to give in to temptation is sin. Temptation is only a blessing as we faithfully resist with the help of our Father in Heaven. There is only one blessed response to temptation: turn away from the devil’s snare and turn to God.
~ James Baer