Tests and Trials

1 Corinthians 10:13 ~ there is no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. 

I think one of my earliest revelations as a believer was learning temptation itself was not sin.  It was an opportunity to disobey God but I still had the chance to stay out of the trap.  

God told Cain, sin lies at the door.  Its desire is for you, but you must master it.  

I’m thankful, as an NT believer, grace does much more abound where sin lies.  In other words, we can overcome any and every temptation by leaning into and receiving the grace of God.  Thanks be unto God who always causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus. 

Oswald Chambers has written “Temptation is a suggested short cut to the realization of the highest at which I aim — not towards what I understand as evil.”  Simply stated, Satan works to keep us from pursuing our God given destinies.  If he can convince us we have no value to God, or our part is not significant, we are basically dead in the water until we rise up and believe what He has said to us, about us. 

When we read about Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, we find it centering on his identity. IF you be the son of God was a challenge to everything Jesus has learned about himself up to that point.  The only thing we hold that defeats all lies and temptations is the written word that we personally own strongly enough, that we declare: It is written! 

Once the challenge to His identity was met and defeated, Jesus was offered a shortcut to achieve ruling and reigning over the universe that didn’t require the Cross.  How many times have we fallen prey to the easier way so we could avoid the pain and suffering of hardship? 

The epistle of James shows us the process of a temptation. 

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted of God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is  fully grown brings forth death.  James 1:12-15

Please note, God does test but Satan tempts, and Satans’ temptation is always for our disobedience. To him that knows to do good and does it not to him it is sin.  This epistle tells us that this temptation towards unbelief is never the nature of God, and that God himself tempts no one. 

Oswald Chambers wrote,” A man's disposition on the inside, i.e., what he possesses in his personality, determines what he is tempted by on the outside. The temptation fits the nature of the one tempted, and reveals the possibilities of the nature. Every man has the setting of his own temptation.”

If we view all temptation as the opportunity to follow a path that will lead us away from our God given destiny, we might then be quicker to access that grace that much more abounds when sin lies at the door of our heart to master us. 

Temptation yielded to is lust deified, BUT GOD is faithful, who with the temptation makes a way of escape.