“Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.” (James 1:12-15) The Lord never promised us an easy path while we walk this world, and those who think a “real” Christian lives what might be termed a charmed life don’t have their facts straight at all. The truth is that every human being is going to face trials and temptations. As the faithful, we learn that facing and overcoming these situations builds spiritual muscle, just as a body builder who continues to add weight to increase his muscle mass. It is not God punishing us when we’re stricken by evil, for there is no evil in Him. No, we’re sure where that comes from. But we have a choice to make each time it comes at us: We can opt to give in to it, or we can stay strong with the Lord in our faith. Like the purest gold that passes through the hottest fire, that extreme heat, those fires, draw out the impurities in us so that we grow with each success. And when we get called home on that glorious day, we will have been refined to such a pure state that the Lord receives us with open arms.
October 18, 2023