Still in James 1:

James-series

verses 13-16

13 ~Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

14 ~But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

15 ~Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

16 ~ Do not err, my beloved brethren.

Two things strike me as I continue with this reading. 1)-God wants us to have a proper view of temptations; and 2)-finding proper context is vital.

 The previous verse tells us that enduring temptation, being tried, can bring us a crown of life.

And even further back tells us to count it JOY when we have multiple temptations, because that works patience–and she has a perfect work to do in us.

patience

But today I read that God will not tempt me.

My temptations come when I am drawn away...

away-–from the previous admonition: ASK GOD FOR WISDOM… in faith, not wavering.

And yet I know that temptations are to be counted joy.  Find JOY in being drawn away? Find JOY  in the wavering of our faith? This almost sounds… contradictory.

I think the simple way to state what our view of temptations should be is found in another Scripture:

Romans 8:27 & 28 ~ 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God searches our hearts–whether a difficulty we face is of our own foolishness or another’s, He knows.

Our view of temptations is a HEART ISSUE…

{do we repent? do we have remorse over our sin? or do we revel in Grace, thinking that Grace gives us permission for our fall? Romans 6:1-2 gives a good reply: 1 ~What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 ~ God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?}

And The Spirit intercedes for us—  Stop and think about that.

I’ll wait.

Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

And continuing… God will work it out for our good. Not “for good” in a manner that would make sense to our finite minds; but “for OUR good” —in a manner that will be good for us.

But this is not  arbitrary that God makes anything work for the good of just all and any… He works this good to them who are the called according to His purpose.

Keeping that thought in mind, God does not temp me; but He can take the temptations and work them for my {our}  good….

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This reminds me of another Scripture passage:

1 Corinthians 10:6-14 ~  6 Now these things [the Israelites in the wilderness] were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.  8Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

Wow… so much to contemplate. But I want to focus in on verse 13: all temptations are common to each of us. **But God is faithful**… He always provides a way of escape [meaning we do not have to succumb to the evil].

AND the previous verse… TAKE HEED, because no one is immune to temptations. Some are just more overt in their fall than others.

But regardless, all sin brings death.

Infidelity can bring death to a marriage… but God can restoreLIFE!

Anger can bring death to a relationship… but God can restore LIFE!

Jealousy can bring death to a friendship… but God can restore LIFE!

Complaining can bring death to a spirit of unity among believers… but God can restore LIFE!

I think you get the picture… THERE IS HOPE, even amid the death that our sin brings.

Oh, so many verses are about our HOPE…

But first… the last verse in our passage today: Do not err, my beloved brethren.

To err means to be deceived, enticed, seduced, to go astray or wander
…sounds a little as though we are being admonished to not be drawn away to begin with.

But because our Lord knows we will… we all have that sin we war against… He provides HOPE in Himself:

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I will leave you with a few verses written out, and a few more with just references for you to see for yourself… but I have barely scratched the surface of what our HOPE is and means!

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Titus 3:4-7 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

and a few from Psalms:

Psalm 31: 24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

Psalm 39:7 And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

Psalm 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Psalm 43:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Psalm 71:  For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.

Some more references for your own study…

Romans 12:9-18  |  Romans 15:1-6  |  2 Corinthians 3:12-18  |  Galatians 5:1-6  |  Philippians 1:18-20  |  Colossians 1:12-23

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