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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Times of Testings

We read in James "count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations". Temptations: trials, testings. What are these temptations? Are they real obvious when they happen? Will I recognize the temptation when it happens? Will I have time to think through my choices when the temptation comes?

I've been realizing that these temptations are not solicitations to do wrong. In verse 13 we read "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." Instead, they are actually tests. Trial runs, if you will.

They are opportunities for US to see the real condition of our heart. They are things that happen which ellicit a response from us, and they are almost always unexpected. They often involve an emotional response from us.

I remember the illustration that Jim Berg uses ~ the tea bag illustration. When you pour hot water over your tea bag, what's inside comes out! When the boiling water of a trial is poured upon us, our response is determined by the contents of our own heart! If our heart is lacking virtue, or the fruit of the Spirit, well ~ we can be rather ugly. But if the fruit of the Spirit is developing nicely through the grace God gives us, we need not worry about biting our tongue, or making and effort to be kind when the test comes.

Often, the Spirit is working in us, showing us our sin and need to become more like Christ. If we are in Christ, he will keep us informed about sin. But sometimes we get discouraged, thinking we will never "get over" this particular problem! Oh how deep are the roots of these sinful bad habits! But these trials are opportunities to practice making right choices; "knowing this that the trial of our faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

So what trials will you and I face today? Unexpected interuptions? Spilled milk under the refrigerator? Rebellion of a child? Sickness? Let's remember to "count it all joy when . . ."


praying4more said...

If you got that last comment, it was me, not my daughter. Since I moderate comments on her blog, I was signed in on her account.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful thought. God knows the condition of my heart, but do I know the true condition of my spiritual heart. My actions show, and yes tests come, and I hope my daily choices prepare me for when trials get heavy. Thank you for getting my heart and mind on the same page today.