• ” The basic meaning of temptation (peirasmos) is simply to test or prove, and has no negative connotation.”{1 Cor 10:13.} {Mac Arthur}. With every trial comes temptation to ultimately sin against God through choosing to seek to handle trials our own way, the way we have always reacted. This is where our mind needs to be renewed {Romans 12:2}. We need to submit our mind to Him and love Him with all of our heart and mind by choosing to respond the way He has laid out for us. The word “trials” and “temptations” in the book of James,come from the same Greek word. Think of a coin with two sides. One coin, two different sides. Whats the difference between a trial and temptation?

THE PURPOSE OF A “TRIAL” – Trials are a test of loyalty to God. The purpose of a trial is to build you up in your faith, through producing perseverance and spiritual maturity {James 1:2-5, 12} to express love to Him by choosing to persevere in the face of difficulties by appropriating the 4 commands laid out in James 1. namely, 1- “Immediately commence rejoicing, 2 -“Knowing” has to do with an understanding mind. You Know or literally it reads “because you know” what God is out to produce perseverance and spiritual maturity through them in you! 3.-“Let”- is the third command which has to do with- a submissive will. 4. -“Ask”- is the fourth command . We are to ask for “wisdom” in our trials and He promises He will give as we ask in faith! The motivation for handling trials God’s way is “love”- v 12. Trials are a test of loyalty to Him. In obedience to Him is an expression of love for Him through persevering in the trial as He lays out “His How to” with the 4 commands! Temptation, like in Matthew 4 where Jesus was tempted. The trial was to reveal His righteous response, while satan sought to seduce Him to sin against God the Father and with temptations of various types.

THE PURPOSE OF “TEMPTATION.” – is to trip you up. Temptation is a solicitation to you hoping you choose to sin against God by yielding to the temptation. Temptation is not sin. Yielding to it is! With every trial to build you up comes the temptation to trip you up to sin against God! The goal of temptation is to tempt you to disobey God and sin against Him! The temptation ultimately is to attack God, through you or me yielding to the temptation and sinning!

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME TEMPTATION? In Matthew 4 Jesus was tempted three times to choose to lean to His own understanding, to act independent of His Father. How did He overcome the evil one’s solicitation to evil? He said three times,“It is written,… it is written,… it is written…” He chose the Word of God as it is God’s weapon.

WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO KNOW IN TIMES OF TEMPTATION. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, three truths for every temptation, to know.

KNOW, is it is not unique to you, but others have faced such testings.

KNOW, God is faithful.

KNOW, He provides a way out, so you need not have to choose to sin in the testing!

Sometimes people have said, “God will not put on you more than you can handle,” but this is not what the passage is teaching. It is teaching that God will not put you in a place where your only response, is to sin against Him! KNOW, God’s Hope for you in times of temptation.

KNOW HIS WORD…and apply it to your circumstances. The 4 Commands listed in James 1 are necessary for you to hide in your heart so in time of testing and temptation you know His Hope in your testing from 1 Corinthians 10:13. KNOW what God says and KNOW you have the power and promises and clarity of His Word in how to honor Him in your trials!v-{Read 2 Peter 1:3-4}.

The difference between a trial which is to build you up in your faith and do right and in doing so express love to Him.- {James 1:2-5,12}. We do so as we choose to respond to them God’s way. Temptation seeks to tempt you to do wrong, sin against God. It lies to you, telling you there is fulfillment or another way outside of God’s way for you, in time of testing.

Can you tell someone else how God says they are to respond to trials? Can you tell someone else the purpose of a Trial? Can you tell someone the purpose of Temptation?

It is IMPERATIVE you hide His Word in your heart. Write out James 1:2-5 and memorize them. Underline the 4 commands . Perhaps write on a 3 by 5 card and carry with you and when you have time think on each of the 4 commands. You could place the verses on a mirror or by your bed to read and familiarize yourself with God’s way in your trial and the Holy Spirit can remind you when, for James does say “when” trials are inevitable and if you are not in one now, or have not come from one, you are heading into one and it is imperative you know His way so you can express “love” to Him as v 12 says!