Understanding Your Temptations (3)
“Count it all joy when ye fall into…temptations.” Jas 1:2
Satan knows that when you recognize him as the source of your temptation, he loses his advantage. He knows that when you understand he initiated the temptation, you’ll recoil from it faster than if you think you yourself are the source of it. If Satan approached you and said, “I’ve come to make you sin and feel condemned,” your vulnerability to his temptations would evaporate! He won’t tell you that—but if you remember it you’ll have the advantage over him. As Paul puts it, “We are not ignorant about Satan’s scheming” (2Co 2:11 GWT). Another misperception is that temptation is time lost and effort wasted. In long periods of temptation we feel like we’ve lost ground rather than gained it. No, withstanding temptation is “[fighting] the good fight of faith” (1Ti 6:12), and that’s when God develops your character. “When all kinds of…temptations crowd into your lives…Realize that they come to…produce in you the quality of endurance,” and when that happens, “you will find you have become men [and women] of mature character” (Jas 1:2-4 PHPS). Indeed, your compensation goes far beyond your present development to the reaping of eternal rewards. “Though now for a season…ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith…might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1Pe 1:6-7). Add to this God’s glorious guarantee: “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation…he shall receive the crown of life” (Jas 1:12).