Family Bytes

Stronger: Utilizing Strength Through Temptation

An Instagram friend of mine posts a motivational saying every day. Do you have one that does too? Most of us have seen the posts with snow-capped mountains, eagles soaring through the air or beautiful sunsets. They tend to have a pithy quote on them, something about excellence, leadership or determination usually.

I like this particular one:

The first question I get when I show this picture is, “Do you and Peter Griffith get your clothes and haircut at the same place?”

The answer is maybe … but don’t let that distract you from the point of this image.

Temptation is real and should be expected. 

Remember from our last post, we discussed the difference between tests and trials and how – ultimately, God tests us because He loves us. To make us stronger, and not just tough.

However, it is important we don’t buy the lie that just because we are being tested by God, we are being tempted by God.

“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:13-15 (NIV)

James 1 reminds us to expect even greater temptation when He is teaching and putting us to the test. Though he wants to make sure we don’t confuse His teaching and testing with our own poor choices.

Temptation is nothing more than a lie we tell ourselves.

This will make life better…

This will satisfy me….

This will make me feel good about myself….

If we give in to temptations, it usually doesn’t take long to learn what tempted us doesn’t actually offer a better life. Rather, it most often makes life worse.

Temptations are hard times that do not come from God.

So what can we do about it?

First, ask for help.

The Bible tells us if we do not know what to do, ask for help and God will give it.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5, ESV)

Though many times we forget to ask someone from the church. I suggest reaching out to your church if confused by poor decisions, whether it was a big or small mistake. The church is here to help and provide direction.

I have found myself there many times because life can be confusing. When under pressure, we want to find an escape.

I am so thankful I have people here at Hope Church to help me, strengthen me and point me in the right direction.

Second, be the answer to someone’s need.

“Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.” James 1:27 (MSG)

It isn’t an accident God tells us to think of others when we feel the pressure of life.

Serving others is medicine. It keeps us from becoming calloused and tough, fooling ourselves into thinking we don’t need anyone else and can go through life on our own. God shows us that He can use us to impact others. 

In Psychology Today, it is mentioned that a strong person is one willing to ask for help when they are in need.

In the same way, those who ask for help are usually willing to give help to others when needed. People who are able to do this experience true contentment in their lives.

Contentment indicates a person living strong instead of tough.

We know this is true because God designed life this way and shared it in His Word. 

So here is the question.

Are we going to be tough or become stronger?

Join us Sunday morning in room 224 at 9:30am for our “Stronger” series, a study on the book of James.

Posted by Freddie Albaugh at 6:00 AM
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