Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
Laney Stroup: Japan Bible Academy | Japan
The pages of history are filled with stories of Christians who suffered for their faith. From the stoning of Stephen to the death of William Tyndale, the stories of these heroes call out to us and encourage us to keep our focus, to continue running, and to finish well (Heb. 12:1–2). In fact, as Paul promised Timothy, “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12). Instead of giving thanks for our trials, we complain about the people or the circumstances around us. And in no case is this truer than in that of a missionary, as God often uses trials specifically to prepare them for His service (1 Thess. 2:1–4). The sad truth, however, is that most of us will never reach this level of suffering, nor more importantly, this level of service, because we fail to recognize God’s purposes in our life. Instead of giving thanks for our trials, we complain about the people or the circumstances around us. And since we know God is sovereign, then when we do that, we are falling into the same trap as Adam: blaming God for our sin (Gen. 3:12). As James reminds us in this verse, we must never blame God (or the circumstances He ordains) for our temptations. Yes, He tests us, but the temptations we feel and the sin that comes out when we are tested come from one source only: our internal sin nature (James 1:14–15). Let us “consider it all joy” when we fall into such trials (James 1:2), no matter what form they take. And may God raise up a new generation of servants who are tested and ready to do His work.