I don’t know about you, but I could do without Trials and Temptations. I mean, I know that James tells us that the trying of our faith works patience, and that 1 Peter encourages us to persevere, but that doesn’t mean that I enjoy them. I have a hard time, as I’m sure you do, counting it all joy.
The truth of the matter is, we humans like to be lazy. We’d like to do what our lusts enjoy, or do nothing, and that in and of itself is rebellion against God. God created man to work the garden, to keep it. We were designed for this purpose and laziness is the opposite or in rebellion to our design.
And then, on top of all of it are trials and temptations. The difference between the two can be subtle, but the temptation is attempting to make you fall or sin while the trial is something that comes that works on your endurance.
Gamers will understand trials more if I use the phrase “grinding”. Most games have this section where you go through a bunch of boring quests both to teach you the game’s mechanics as well as
to bore you to death get you to spend more time in the game. Also, now with micropayments and free games, they can offer you ways to bypass the slog if you are willing to part with some cash.
Trials are just like grinding: you go through it to get your character stronger. An overwhelming majority of the time it’s not fun, but it builds us. Training montages in movies makes us think that a few minutes of working out and we’re ready to box the champion, or a little running we’ll lose all the weight. In real life, trials take time and they build us.
Temptations show us where we are weak and are susceptible to sin. They are things we have to fight and defeat. They can work to our good, but they are to be resisted– the sooner the better. They work toward our good in that they show us where we can improve and get closer to God.
So be thankful for both trials and tribulations. You know that God loves you and is working for your greatest good.