“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone…” – James 1:13
Just about every day, we face trials. They are sometimes small, like an irritating driver. And sometimes they are overwhelmingly large, like the death of a friend.
Trials are an ever-present reality of our daily life. We often tag these as “bad” things. And they make us feel like failures – afraid or stressed out.
But there is one important thing about trials that often gets overlooked. A trial is not a temptation. We often say God is tempting us. He never does. Temptation, as James says, happens when we are dragged away by our own desires.
But, God does allow trials. The difference between a temptation and a trial is that a tempter is cheering for you to lose and someone putting you through a trial or test wants desperately for you to win. A healthy perspective must learn to delineate between what tempts us and what tries us. One must be avoided and the other pressed into.
God is cheering for us. He allows trials because they help us to grow, develop character, and produce intimacy in relationships. They also give us an opportunity to show the strength of our faith, the power of Christ within us.
Although they may be difficult, our daily trials are not inherently “bad” or “evil”. They are just a particular form of circumstance that we can choose to live under or over. If we choose to see things from God’s perspective, trials become an opportunity to form the character of Christ within us and release our true identity.