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Testings, Trials And Temptations

Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

The prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray is a model of praying that has been a great consolation to many believers since the Spirit first led Matthew to pen these words. From the above verse we learn that the LORD may test our faith, but He never tempts us to sin. Furthermore, there are times when we are tempted to test God! Let’s explore these ideas to discern the difference between each.

Deuteronomy 8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

Tests are inevitable and also invaluable for our spiritual growth and deepening of faith. God tested the obedience of the Israelites as He called them to trust Him for all their needs, both spiritual and physical, for the entire time He led them in their wanderings through the wilderness. Not once did they go without as they learnt to lean into His provision rather than relying on their own selves. And so too as God tests us from one situation to another, we are learning how to trust Him and distrust ourselves. Testings challenge us to look to the care and provision of our Great Shepherd, so that we want for nothing. (Psalm 23:1).

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.

God will never tempt us, for to tempt another is to do evil. God is fully, wholly and completely good and cannot do what is contrary to His nature. God has no pleasure in wickedness (Psalm 5:4) He does not tempt any man with evil (James 1:13) and He loves righteousness and hates wickedness (Psalm 45:7). God does not cause evil.

James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Temptations and trials can be brought upon ourselves by our own pride, arrogance and impatience. They are unnecessary testings that are caused by our own poor choices and lack of humility and dependence upon God. If we struggle in temptations and those unnecessary trials we bring upon ourselves (and we do this often) don’t go where we will be tempted! Pray Jesus’ words, ‘lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil.’ God gives us strength to lead us away from the unnecessary testing, which drains us of the energy we need to embrace the necessary testings that He leads us into. God is powerful to help our faith. Let us only drink the cup of testing that He has appointed for us and nothing else.

Exodus 17:2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto the, Why chide ye with me? Wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?

Do you remember the Israelite’s moaning and groaning in their wanderings? In fear and uncertainty and distrusting in their God, they cried out for Him to act on their behalf and give them what they wanted. Sound familiar? We must not put God to the test by doubting Him and His faithful love by asking Him to prove Himself. Only hardened, unbelieving hearts do that. This is evil and just what we must ask God to deliver us from. We ought not to ask God to prove His faithful love to us. Hasn’t He already done abundantly more than we could ask or imagine?!

Psalm 126:3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

‘Father, prevent me from testing You and help me to believe You at Your Word, to trust You and not tempt You. Protect me that I may not depart from You and perfect me that I may be only devoted to You. Deliver me from the evil one and my own deceitful desires. Thank You. In Jesus Name. Amen.’

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

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One comment

  1. Jennifer,
    Thank you for this article – something we all need reminding about – excellent job!
    God Bless~

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