From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation: for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love him” (Jas. 1:12).
One of life’s greatest challenges facing all people, but especially Christians, is temptations. Temptations are going to come in various forms. How do you handle or manage your temptations? When asked, “Do you struggle with temptations?” Someone once answered by saying, “I don’t struggle with temptations, I just give in to them.” This is unquestionably not the approach the Lord wants Christians to adopt. According to James, Christians will be tempted (Jas. 1:14).
James offers in the above passage a perspective for Christians to consider for handling or managing temptations. First, view temptations or trials from a positive perspective. “Blessed” or “happy” is the attitude Christians need to display toward temptations. Temptations confronted with an upbeat attitude – with God’s help – are more likely to be defeated. Second, be ready to endure each temptation. Temptations can drain Christians; therefore, James encourages them to endure, to be persistent, to keep pressing-on. Third, those who are successful, in not allowing temptations to cause them to quit, will be rewarded with a “crown of life.” The “crown of life” is promised to those who not only obey the gospel of Christ, but remain faithful unto death (cf. Mk. 16:15-16; Rev. 2:10). Finally, James concludes the above passage by implying the power of love. Love motivates! Those who love the Lord will be motivated to strive daily to overcome their temptations (Jo. 14:15).
All Christians can expect to experience temptations on a daily basis. The proper perspective toward temptation can be an effective tool in confronting temptations. Thus, James exhorts all Christians to be “happy” when facing temptations. With the Lord’s help, and the right perspective toward temptations, Christians can be successful in overcoming them.
May God bless each of you with a great weekend! Remember to worship the Lord on Sunday; and resist temptations.