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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Joy Of Divers Temptations

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; . . . .  James 1:2

In these few words we have the reality and the responsibility of the Christian life set forth.

Reality - Christians are subject to divers temptations

Responsibility - The sober reality should be counted as all joy

The reality being wedded to the responsibility produces a challenge that only those who have the Spirit of God living in them can achieve.  They have the potential to achieve.  Potential does not necessarily translate into reality.  When I read this verse two things come to mind.  I want to live this way.  It is hard to live this way.

What are the temptations of which James is speaking?  The word temptation is being used in a broader sense than what we typically use it.  I think what the Holy Spirit had in mind flows from the pen of James in the following verse:

". . . the trying of your faith . . . . "

That is the essence of all temptation.  It is having our faith tried.  It is being put to the proof, being tested.  Temptation can be anything that tests our allegiance and commitment to Christ.  It is, in essence, the same concept Jesus was addressing when he said in Matthew 6:24,

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.

When James writes "divers temptations" he is reminding us that the trying of our faith comes in all shapes and sizes, numerous levels of difficulty.  In fact the word temptations itself is in the plural.

Even the word "fall" is meant to direct our attention to the varied temptation we face.  The word suggests we fall into something that is all around, to be surrounded with.  The reality is, we are daily faced with a barrage of choosing Christ or the other thing, whatever it is.  Everyday, all day we are surrounded with challenges to our commitment to Christ.  It can in fact become wearisome.

Lets face it we really do not know if we are committed and/or how committed until the commitment is challenged.

The trying of our faith is an opportunity.  We are being provided with the opportunity to prove our love and devotion to Christ.  We are be given the opportunity to put our actions where our Amen is.  Circumstances develop throughout life wherein Christ is basically asking will you serve me or self.

If I want to do more than just talk about my love for Christ then I must have my faith tried.  And when my faith is tried I should count it all joy that I have an opportunity to show that I choose Christ and I am committed to him.  If we are walking in the Spirit these opportunities will produce joy.  Remember, joy is the fruit of the Spirit.  Therefore we are not speaking of something generated by the flesh, but rather something produced by the Spirit of the living God!

We step into the midst of the challenges every day, whether great or small, counting it all joy that we have been given these opportunities to trust Him, obey Him, love Him, believe Him, serve Him, and choose Him!
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