Stepping Stones: Trials Create Temptation

Stepping Stones: Trials Create Temptation
September 1, 2009 Lighthouse Network

Transformational Tip
Notice in James 1:2 that he says “whenever you face trials” not If you face trials. It’s something we don’t like to face into or admit…that suffering will come. It has been my experience that with pain and suffering come great opportunities for growth. But pain and suffering also brings with it powerful temptation. Temptation to seek an escape, temptation to self medicate with sinful practices and addictions such as sex, overeating, drugs, gambling, people-pleasing, etc. It is within our human nature to try and avoid or mask the pain of trials. In fact, all our dysfunctional behaviors develop to end, minimize, or avoid present or anticipated suffering.
The Bible is THE book (and I have read many psychiatry books) about suffering. From the fall of man, Job and all the biographies, our spiritual separation from God, to Jesus’ extreme suffering, the Bible tells us how God is with us, provides a peace and comfort, and sees us through the suffering.
Today, think of trials as opportunities to demonstrate your trust in God…even thanking Him for them…this is one of the highest forms of praise. When suffering strikes (and you know it will) remember that Your Lord and God is supreme and that he can bring good out of every circumstance in your life. Do not try to run and hide from the pain…do not try and mask it. Let your suffering gain meaning and draw you closer to God. Know that Joy can emerge from what feels like the ashes of adversity…it will emerge through your trust and thankfulness to God. Click the Past Devotional link, tell us about your trials or suffering, how we can pray for you, how it affects you, and what you can believe differently about God or the Bible to get you through this storm.

Dear Father God,
Today I feel as if I cannot endure one more trial. I feel weak and beaten down. I’m tired of this pain and I need relief. I confess Father that I have turned to unhealthy and sinful ways to try and escape this pain…but it has only made things worse. I keep digging this hole deeper and deeper. I pray Father that You help me stop digging deeper and help me climb up out of this hole.
I pray Lord that You help me get closer to achieving the mind of Christ. Help me bear my adversity bravely and directly…and help me have a thankful heart even in the darkest hours. I pray Father that you use me to help minister Your Word and love to those within my path that are in the midst of a life’s storm. Help me guide them away from temptation and toward You…for You are the ultimate Lighthouse. I pray this in the name of my savior Jesus Christ – and all God’s people said – AMEN!

The Truth
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4
To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
Romans 2:7

Comments (3)

  1. Anonymous 15 years ago

    I am currently out of work seeking employment. In this time of trial for myself I have the faith in my lord knowing he is watching over me guiding me and has a plan. There can be temptation but I feel the lord with me to pull me away from that temptation.

  2. Anonymous 15 years ago

    Trials are certainly WHEN not if. The continuing trial in my life is a very painful marriage….a spouse that has several issues that include but are not limited to: immaturity, irresponsibility, self-centeredness, duplicity, unforgiveness, bitterness and anger, emotional abusiveness and sexual addiction.

    All of this has caused many trials on many levels and affects our children negatively. My spouse and I are now separated and that has brought with it additional trials as it relates to the care and treatment of the children and include uncalled for and inappropriate comments from my spouse about me to the children.

    Add to that:

    – the challenges and trials in the work place of the job itself and the interpersonal dynamics within the work place
    – being plain tired from the demands of single parenting, working 3 jobs, upkeep of the home
    -financial strain

    If it were not for the strength of the Lord, I'd literally sink into depression. There are days when my outward demeanor cannot muster a showing of even an ounce of joy but deep in my heart I know that the Lord will prevail through all of this and I am on the winning team, that keeps the joy from escaping me. PEACE!

    I must trust, obey and love Him to find my way through all of the adversity and obstacles.

    We all face many trials of varying levels. We must all keep our eyes on Jesus when the circumstances of life feel too overwhelming! Though there is pain and outwardly joy may not appear, there can be inner peace!

  3. Anonymous 15 years ago

    wow, that is a lot. thanks for sharing your pain. for me it really comes down to what i believe about PAIN. are God's promises about pain, my pain, true. He helped with my eternal spiritual suffering, i know He has a plan for my daily/earthly pains as well. this trust that He will provide and grow me in the pain as well as i am tougher(with Him) than i thought, mixed with me not self-medicating (my old response to my pain) when in pain, have led to a freedom to make radically different decisions in my life.
    thanks for sharing your pain.

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