An Opportunity for Growth
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)
Have you ever had one of those times when you were walking with Lord, trying to do all the things that should encourage you in your Christian faith, and out of nowhere, you’re being hit with heavy-duty temptations? In fact, it often happens at the worst conceivable times, such as when you’re praying or you’re in church. You wonder why it’s happening to you.
Without a doubt, none of us enjoy being tempted, but there are some valuable lessons that come through those times that God allows in our lives.
Someone has said that Christians are a lot like tea bags; you don’t know what they’re made of until you put them into hot water. Sometimes we think we’re doing pretty well spiritually. Then the Lord puts us in some hot water. He lets us go through a time of trial and temptation in our lives. It helps to strengthen us spiritually.
James wrote, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (James 1:2). He was not saying that we necessarily should be experiencing an all-encompassing emotion of joy or happiness in our times of hardship. Nor was he demanding that his readers enjoy the trials of life. James was not saying that trials are joy. They are not. In fact, Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful!” (nlt).
James was saying, “Consider it joy. Make a deliberate choice to experience joy in your troubles.” Why? They are accomplishing something in your life. It may hurt now, but what will come as a result will be so much better. You will be able to look back and say, “It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.”
In the Christian life, God will allow trials. Count it joy and rejoice.
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