Temptation vs. Trials

   There is a big difference in comparing trials and temptations. Trials are circumstances that are external that the Lord uses to develop in us real faith (James 1:2-3), real character (James 1:3-4), and real reliance on Him (James 1:5-7). Our attitude must be right as we count it all joy that the Lord is exercising our faith in order to develop patience or what I call coping skills James 1:2)

   On the other hand, temptation is internal as we are drawn away from the Lord by overpowering desires that entice us. The word entice means to bait us even as a fish is baited. The fish never sees the hook until it is too late. It only sees the bait. Likewise, we never see anything but the over-powering desire that captivates our attention. We are focus exclusively on fulfilling that overpowering desire. Don't entertain these overpowering desires.

   The fulfilling of the overpowering desire breaks our communion with the Lord and we are brought into spiritual darkness. This spiritual darkness causes us to forget the goodness of God and to forget what God has re-create us to be-unique and special-a carbon copy of Jesus Christ. Reflecting His character and compassion.

   Some of the greatness characteristics we can have is honesty and humility. We must admit that we are powerless over our addictions and our life has become unmanageable. Jesus said in John 8:33: "....Whosoever committed sin is the servant of sin." Being a servant of sin leads to different addictions (domination).

   Jesus also said in John 8:32: "If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."  He was tempted in all points like we are and never yielded to sin. He has the power to give us victory. In
Hebrew 2:18 we learn: "For in that He himself suffered being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted." He wants us to turn to Him when we are tempted that ".....His  grace is sufficent for us that His strength is made perfect in our weakness."

   The Lord has given us many promises in His Word that we can claim by faith: "There hath no temptation taken you that isn't common to man, but God is faithful, who will not allow us to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it." (I Corinthians 10:13) I respect what God says; therefore, I expect Him to do what He says.

   Another example of a promise of God is James 4:7: "Submit yourself therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you." This verse is often misquoted by Christians, who will quote it : resist the devil and he will flee from you. Not true! He will beat you up and defeat you. First of all, we must submit ourselves to God and then we have the resources to defeat him.!

   Little Jerry was walking down the street that was paved with snow and ice and he was holding on to his grandfather's hand, Suddenly, he slipped and fell down. His grandfather said to Jerry: You made a big mistake, Jerry, You were holding on to my hand. You need to let me hold on to your hand. Little Jerry let his grandfather hold on to his hand and he slipped again on the ice, but this time, he didn't fall down. His grandfather's strength was sufficient to hold him up. Likewise, we must let the Lord hold on to our hand (by faith) and we will not fall down: "....Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world (I John 4:4b)." Man's extremity (temptation) is God's opportunity to demonstrate to us His almighty power and tender, loving care!

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