Tuesday, October 30
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.
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.
Several years ago, a small town in India found themselves in the midst of a monkey infestation. The monkeys were so numerous; they would invade homes, bite people, and make off with food. It was agreed the monkeys would have to be caught and relocated. The people in the town resorted to a traditional method for catching them. They gathered old milk jars, tied them to the ground, and then placed a cookie inside the jar. Then the monkey, tempted by a tasty treat, will place his hand inside the jar, but with the cookie enclosed in his palm, his fist becomes too big to remove. The monkey will pull and push in an effort to get that cookie out, but he will not let it go, not even as his captor’s approach…so the monkey is caught, literally with his hand in the cookie jar!
Often in life we are like the monkey, presented with a tempting offer and knowing that unless we let go of it, it will destroy us. However, take heart child of God, for our Father has provided our way out. We have an Ally who will stand with us in times of temptation. We have Christ, prayer, and a heavenly host of angels on our side.
James reminds us that, although God is not the tempter, He certainly understands the struggle. God also assures us that He will provide a way out of temptation (see 1 Corinthians 10:13). Finally, dear friends, be strong and courageous. Do not allow the temptations of this world to lead you into captivity. Pray with complete confidence in Christ, in His unchanging character. We can trust Him to hear our prayers. And we can trust Him to answer, according to who He is.