Faith, Temptation

The Trial of your faith

In this ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold trials. . .

1 Peter 1:6

Are you going through many temptations and feeling discouraged or hopeless? You are not alone and if anyone tells you to pull up your pants and bear up to your circumstances does not know the full reality that you are personally facing. We do not walk in each other’s shoes simply because the shoe does not always fit. Everyone has a different experience in life because they are created with different genes. It would be boring if we were all exactly alike in our DNA. I have learned and seen that in general people are gifted with different aptitude and human characteristics. I thank God for them because it gives the opportunity of helping each other out in our weaknesses. It is what a family is all about. Those within the family are the foundation that is built upon growth by the elder helping and teaching the younger within the group to become the best they can be. The family unit usually defines maturing into adulthood.

In America, we may have lost the cohesiveness of the family so many individuals must rely on other adults to help them in the process of maturing. This was true for me especially when I entered my teen years, my mother decided to leave my father. Any breakup within the family is an adjustment. Any sickness within the family is an adjustment. Any soldier that comes home from a war is an adjustment. Why? Because the adjustment means we must face change in our environment and in our emotional response. This can be the trial we face depending upon how we respond to the change. Our character is under attack, and it is not an easy thing to go through when you are right in the middle of going through it. Some call it a part of life and may just brush it off, but it is much more than that because it can define our character in who we are as a person. Any kind of suffering involves an emotional response and therefore should not be taken lightly. As Christians we are to bear one another burdens in order to fulfill the law of Christ [see Galatians 6:2]. In verse 3 of Galatians the apostle Paul said that “if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”

Let us pray that we are not deceiving ourselves by thinking we are better than the next person. It is better to humble yourself as a little child before our Lord. The apostle Peter addressed this in 1 Peter 5:5.

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

1 Peter 5:5

Being subject to one another means to work out your disagreements. Disagreements can be a temptation and it can cause a sorrow of heaviness within our heart. Don’t allow the disagreement to annul your relationship with an individual unless it deals with doing evil or harming someone. Temptations deal with doing the right thing and not being proud of whatever you are doing. Our example is Christ Jesus who “also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth,” [see 1 Peter 2:22]. Temptations can deal with devious ploys and schemes to which you should not get involved and become a part of. There should be no deception between you and the other person. There should be no deception between a husband and wife either. As a child of God, we are to live a holy life in everything we do. In fact, Peter states that “he who has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of life,” [see 1 Peter 1:15]. We must surrender to the Lord our weaknesses and ask him to intervene and guide us through our emotions and the trails we are facing.

While we go through trials and the testing of our faith in Christ Jesus, the Apostle Peter urges us to consider our salvation, the glory of our Lord’s return, and the effect of purifying our character into the image of Christ will bring the result of patience and joy. We may not be able to see the result when going through a trial, but that trial is more precious than gold stated the Apostle Peter [see 1 Peter 1:7]. It is with prayer that the trial you are experiencing may be found in praise, honor, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. We can confess and bring all our trials and troubles to God, and this is what Job did for he assured, “I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withheld from thee,” [see Job 42:2]. Job repented from not praying for his friends and the Lord blessed him by giving back twice of what Job lost during his trial [see Job 42:10]. Remember that it is your soul and spirit that the enemy is after who is Satan. We must “abstain from all appearance of evil,” [see 1 Thessalonians 5:22]. That means to hold back, renounce, and avoid all forms of evil. Our victory is in Christ Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. This is our joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.

Let us remember part of the lyrics to “What a friend we have in Jesus.”

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer


Temptations Common to Man

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will, with the temptation, also make the way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV

Temptations common to man such as alcohol, gambling, money, possessions, and making it to the top like a CEO of a corporation seem to be common today, yet these and other types of temptations can lead to an addiction and even death. The simple definition of temptation is a strong pleasurable desire/urge or impulse to do something. It is a short-term gratification that can be harmful in the long-term for it affects others as well as can lead to death such as a person overdosing on drugs. Temptation plays upon an individual’s mind and becomes an obsession. It disrupts your daily routine because you cannot get it out of your mind. If we look at verse 14 of 1 Corinthians the apostle Paul associates temptation to idolatry, which is the worship of an object, or thing. Such as a top-of-the-line car like the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, or a movie idol like John Wayne or Harrison Ford.

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

James 1:14-15 KJV

In the book of James, we can gain a better understanding what temptation does. First, James tells us that every man is tempted. I have not heard of anyone who is not tempted to steal, lie, or cheat, have you? Second James tells us we are drawn away by our own lust. The meaning of lust in James comes from the Greek word “epithumia,” which mean strong desire of any kind. The attraction of pleasure that consumes us can become idol worship.   The object or thing is controlling you rather than you are controlling the object or thing. That is why it brings forth death because you are no longer in control, and many times it really does lead to physical death such as drugs and alcohol. The bible tells us to flee from idolatry, youthful lust, and fornication [see 1Corinthians 10:14, 6:18, 2 Timothy 2:22]. However, the apostle Paul tells us that God will make a way out of any temptation we may find ourselves in.

We must ask God through prayer to help us get out of temptation. Jesus tells us to watch and pray that we do not enter temptation because he knew that our spirit was willing, but our flesh is weak [see Matthew26:41].  Now we need to watch and pray to receive a way out.  Confess your sin to God, for He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [1 John 1:9]. Beware of any temptation with an “if” in it such as If you do this, I will do this, or if you scratch my back, I will scratch yours. Just read about Jesus’ temptation from Satan and the “if” factor to be tempted into pleasure, power, or wealth [see Matthew 4:1-11].  Know that anything or object that takes you away from Jesus as your focal point is directing you down a path away from God. The apostle Paul tells us not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices and many today do not realize the danger they are putting themselves into when following other people or desiring riches and wealth.

We must believe that God will provide for our every need, but at times it seems we want to help ourselves and forget about the consequences of our actions. Our God can help us purge our desires and to help free us from Satan’s hold upon us. Any kind of temptation we fall into is to be considered carefully by watching and praying.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.

James 1:2

It is hard to consider any temptation as joyful because it just does not feel joyous when we know we are being tempted. James tells us it is the trying of our faith to stay true to the path of our calling in Christ Jesus. That going through temptation will bring patience and that it is God’s perfect work in that we come to a place of not wanting nothing [James 1:3-4]. Have you ever considered the wording “wanting nothing.”? If we are secure in our position in Christ, we should not lack nothing, for He is our life.  This gives us something to ponder upon that when we put our faith in God, we can endure temptation and God will see us through it and provide a way out.  We may need to reconsider by evaluating what we are following today, and if that is taking the place of following our Lord.  May God help us to see what thing or object is holding us and help us to relinquish it into the Lord’s hand.  Cleanse our desire’s Lord and help us to become the people you want us to be.  Help us Lord to watch and pray that we are not lead  into temptation but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen [Matthew 6:13].