Sunday, July 31, 2016

Is God Testing You?

by Clint Byars
Forward Ministries

"God won't put more on your than you can handle."

Have you ever heard that?

Have you ever said that?

Do you believe that?

There's on major problem, that's not what that passage says.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

There are a couple of things to notice here:

It doesn't say God is putting anything on you
God provides a way out because he is faithful

Now read James 1:13

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone...

James tells us not to say that the temptation is from God. This is the same word from the previous passage that so many people misquote. The word "temptation" is also translated as tests and trials in other places. James tells to not blame tests and trials on God.

He goes on to say it's the good things that are from God. The world will pressure us with tribulation and we may suffer persecution for standing up for our faith but those are not things that God is doing to us, those are from the world and people.

No doubt you have been taught that God will create trials for you to develop patience or character or maturity. If you can go through something physical and gain something from God then you can boast in your own strength. Every fruit that God wants to develop in your life is spiritual and manifests through your heart. God doesn't give spiritual fruit as rewards for something you've done in your flesh, no matter how noble or outwardly holy it appears.

James is a bit like Elihu was to Job. Job had made incorrect statements about the character of God and blamed him for the loss he experienced. Elihu rebukes Job and his friends for concluding that Job is more loving than God. Then God himself shows up and says that Job didn't know what he was talking about when he said all those things and finally Job repents. That's a brief summation but I urge you to read the entire book of Job and realize that when Job repents, it's for everything he said, all the way back to the beginning of the book.

James comes in like Elihu to his audience and corrects them for all the complaining they're doing against God. This is evident in the rest of his letter because he deals with the tongue so much.

The good news is God is not our problem. God is our protector and our deliverer. He's the safe place and strong tower in which we take refuge, not the architect of everything terrible in our lives.

Listen to this free message in which I further elaborate on the ideas in this article.

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