November 17, 2008

Trials and Temptations

James 1:2-4, 13-15

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”
James 1:13


Trials and temptations both have a similar impact on our lives. But they are significantly different. Trials arise from the challenges and crises of life. Temptations mainly arise from within our hearts, from our inner motivations.

Trials are as numerous and varied as the people we meet and the places we visit. James’s readers were suffering persecution that could potentially undermine their trust in the powerful providence of God.

Temptations are like fishing lures to a hungry fish. The desires of our sinful human nature prompt us to do what we want, which often means rebelling against our Creator, seeking satisfaction apart from him.

Both trials and temptations can erode our trust in the Lord and undermine our witness.

But God triumphs over the impact of trials and gives us victory over temptations.

The Lord leads us in pastures of plenty and beside quiet waters of contentment.

God uses the real experiences of life to demonstrate his peace and power so that he is shown to be the Giver of “every good and perfect gift” (James 1:17).

We praise our God for giving us trust in times of trial and resistance in times of temptation. God is able to satisfy all our needs through his great provision.

Good Shepherd, lead me according to your will today. May I trust you with all my being and find strength to resist temptations. I want to glorify you in all my ways. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Brink

Rev. Harvey Brink has retired from active ministry in the Christian Reformed Church, having served congregations in Michigan, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Illinois, and
Washington. He and his wife Maxine live near their children and grandchildren in western Washington.

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