The bible study class my wife and I have been attending just finished up a study on the book of James. The teacher today did somewhat of a summary of the book before he got into the heart of the lesson. He described trials and temptations using the book of James in a way that I have never really thought about. He said a trial is anything that causes you to doubt God and a temptation is the opportunity that is presented to give you the opportunity to take the trial in your own hands and not give it to God. I have always thought the trials here meant plain old hard times. James states in verse 3 that through the trial our faith is tested and with that test endurance is produced. James goes on to say that while we are enduring, we are also being made mature and complete. 1 Peter 1:6 and 7 says “6In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” When I read verses like this I usually think of a silversmith or tinsmith who is working the metal in the fire, refining the precious metal and getting rid of the impurities. God allows things to happen in our life. For instance, God allowed Job, who was blameless, upright, fearing of God, etc., to lose everything He had and become ill, but Job held onto his trust in God and because of that trust he was blessed even more. Job 13:15 says “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.” Jesus is where our hope should be.
When it comes to temptations, the awesome thing is that in His incredibly abundant love for us God gives us a way out of the temptation, a choice to make to not fall into the temptation.
The question at the end of the lesson was “In what areas of your life do you doubt God?” We all have areas of our life we have struggles in. What I have come to learn and continue to learn is that I know God is walking with me through the storms and I can see how He worked once the storm clears. God always answers prayers, they just may not be the answer we want, but we can be assured that He is causing all things to work for the good of those who love Him.