Tim Keller | October 29, 1995
Tests come from God, but temptation or the enticement to sin comes from what’s inside of our hearts. Every trial is a test that can move you toward the crown of life, but it can also could push you toward death. To deal with temptation we must deal with our underlying desires and reorient them to a new love.
In the book of James, we find a connection between trials and temptations. The same Greek word can mean either “trial” or “temptation”. But there’s a difference – temptation is a pull within us to do wrong. Even though God might allow us to face difficult circumstances, He never tempts us to sin. This helps us understand the persistence of sin and our continuous battle against it.
1. Every challenge is a temptation
Every change and hardship in life can be a chance for growth or a danger if not handled wisely. Good times and bad times can make us more sincere or they can make us fake. Money can teach us to be humble and giving, or it can make us arrogant. Basically, every situation we face, whether it’s loss or gain, love or money, can bring us closer to a meaningful life or push us towards a destructive path.
2. The reason why every challenge is a temptation
Wrongdoing and temptation come from our own wants, not from outside forces or from God. It’s not our genes or our surroundings that control what we do, but our choices. This idea is both freeing and humbling – it shows us that we have the power to choose, and that we need to take responsibility for what we choose to do.
3. The process of temptation
Sin starts as a strong want that takes our focus away from God. It begins within us, in our emotions and desires, and leads to actions that go against what is right. The real path to satisfaction and beauty is through a relationship with Jesus. He sees us as perfect and inspires us to live with an awareness of our identity in Him. As Christians, we’re encouraged to act like Jesus did, showing kindness to those who don’t deserve it. We should keep in mind the grace and glory that comes from being in Christ to help us resist feelings of pride or despair.
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