“Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
– James 1:2 (King James Version)
If life is response to environment, and I live in two rival environments, those of the flesh and Spirit, then each must keep appealing to me, keep drawing me, in every part of my being which still responds to its appeals. I must be tempted, and should be tempted, wherever I am still temptable. Only by this means can I learn and relearn the areas of my life in which I need an ever more complete deliverance, and can I be stimulated to refuse the evil and choose the good and practice the way of faith by which alone that can be done.
It is plain that this life is probationary and progressive. It is from grace to grace, from faith to faith, from glory to glory; and temptation is the continual proof that God uses even Satan for these sanctifying purposes. God tempts no man, but from the beginning of time it has been by the devil’s temptations that He has proved us, humbled us, taught us of ourselves and Himself; that He stimulates us to seek for victory, and finally perfects us. Even His own Son suffered, being tempted, and was only made perfect through “learning obedience by the things which He suffered.” Let us then brace ourselves to this unalterable fact. We shall be tempted at all points by all means to the last day of our pilgrimage on earth. These temptations are our great blessings in disguise. Woe betide us if we were to be without them; rather let us obey the command of James and count them all joy.