October 21, 2014
Scripture is clear that God cannot be tempted to do wrong (Ja.1:13). But though He cannot be tempted with evil, we can wrongfully test Him, like Israel did at Massah and Meribah when they said, “Is the Lord among us, or not” (Ex.17:7)? Such testing of God means to defiantly and irreverently challenge Him to prove the truth of His words or the justice of His ways. It’s requiring proofs of His presence or goodness. It’s putting His power or patience to the test, such as exposing ourselves to unnecessary dangers from which we can’t escape without God’s miraculous intervention. Such testings are rebellion against God since one is challenging Him to show Himself or to prove His power and goodness.
We have no right to put God to the test, unless He permits it, as in the case of Gideon; or He specifically invites us to do so, as He did to Judah, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it” (Mal.3:10, NIV). *Dt.6:16; Jdgs.6:36-40*
Temptation never comes from God. He not only cannot be tempted by evil but He will not tempt anyone (Ja.1:13). Though temptation doesn’t proceed from Him, He does test His people. “The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests hearts” (Pv.17:3, BV). His testing is for benevolent purposes and effect, to prove or improve us.
It shouldn’t really surprise us, then, when we face adversity or trouble. At times the affliction could be described “like silver in a crucible” (Ps.66:10). Peter told his readers that the fiery trials that were taking place among them to test them should not unduly alarm them. In fact they should not consider what they were passing through as some strange and abnormal experience. *I Pe.4:12*
God will test and purify you and me through refining situations that show the quality of our faith and devotion. Testing reveals the nature of our character, our fidelity and integrity. Paul even rejoiced in his tribulations and sufferings. Why? Because he knew that such affliction brings about perseverance. And that endurance produces strength of character. And such tested character works hope in us. *Rom.5:3-4*
This helps me understand why James says to thoughtfully consider it pure joy when we face trails of any kind. Why count it nothing but joy? Because the process of testing the genuineness of our faith produces such perseverance. He then tells his readers to let this endurance have its thorough work and full effect so that they may be mature and complete in all respects, not lacking in anything. *Ja.1:2-4*
Finally, though we suffer for a time from such varied, fiery trials that test the genuineness of our faith, and prove our faith to be “sterling,” it will win praise, glory and honor at the Appearance of Jesus Christ! “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (Ja.1:12, NIV). *I Pe.1:6-7*
By Ed Dudek
From:: False Ideas About Temptation