James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
In this verse, James tells us that a Christian who endures temptation is blessed because he shall receive the crown of life (which is promised to those who love the Lord). Therefore, the man who endures temptation loves the Lord and it is that love of Christ that gives him the strength to endure temptation.
It is very easy to loathe temptation and many outright hate being tempted. As our Pastor, and Bro. Greg Phillips, also, has said … what angers you controls you. Furthermore, while in the midst of temptation, if my attention is focused on how much I dislike being tempted then I am taking my focus off of God and instead devoting all my energy to focusing on what I hate. The more attention I give temptation, and the longer I stare at it, the more likely I am to eventually fall into it (for proof, see the story of Lot and how he pitched his tent toward Sodom).
Alternatively, we can do as James had learned before writing his Epistle. James turned temptation to his gain. Instead of fighting and white knuckling your way through temptation, turn the tables and use it as an opportunity.
How much more manageable is temptation if we view it as a chance to prove our love for the Lord? James saw temptation as a chance to EARN his crown of life. He saw temptations as an opportunity to prove how much more he loved God than anything in the world. You can attempt to fight temptation in the flesh, or you can endure it in the Spirit.
Look at temptation as a rain storm. What since is there in trying to gather all the rain and throwing it back up into the sky? How delusional must a person be to think they can dodge every raindrop as they attempt to sprint their way through a storm? James would have us wrap ourselves in our unyielding love for the Lord and let that affection protect us from the rain like a rain coat. I can endure a storm much easier if I insulate myself from the temptation by focusing instead on how much more I love The Lord. When I do just that, I am in no danger of becoming wet.
So the next time temptation enters your life, don’t view it as a trial. Instead, view it as an opportunity to show (and not just tell) the world how much you love your Savior.
Your fellowservant in Christ,
Bro: Jordan Foster