Growing through Temptation

Happy is the man who doesn’t give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterward he will get as his reward the crown of life that God has promised those who love him. James 1:12

My temptations have been my masters in spirituality.

Every temptation is a chance to do well.

On the trail to spiritual age, even temptation becomes a stepping-stone rather than a faltering block when you understand that it is just as much a juncture to do the right thing as it is to do the wrong thing. Temptation simply provides the option. While temptation is Satan’s primary weapon to obliterate you, God wants to use it to cultivate you. Every time you choose to do decent instead of sin, you are growing in the character of Christ.

To understand this, you must first recognize the character behavior of Jesus. One of the most brief descriptions of his character is the fruit of the Spirit: “when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” To have the fruit of the Spirit is to be like Christ.

How, then, does the Holy Spirit be the source of these nine fruit in your life? Does he create them immediately? Will you wake up one day and be rapidly filled with these characteristics fully developed? No. fruit always matures and ripens slowly.

This next sentence is one of the mainly important spiritual truths you will ever be taught: God develops the fruit of the Spirit in your life by allowing you to experience circumstances in which you’re tempted to express the exact opposite quality! Character growth always involves a choice, and temptation provides that prospect.

For instance, God teaches us love by putting some unlovely people around us. It takes no character to love people who are lovely and loving to you. God teaches us real joy in the midst of sorrow, when we turn to him. Happiness depends on external situation, but joy is based on your relationship to God.

God develops real peace within us, not by making things go the way we planned, but by allowing times of madness and confusion. We find out real peace by choosing to trust God in circumstances in which we are tempted to worry or be afraid. Likewise, patience is developed in circumstances in which were enforced to wait and are tempted to be angry or have a short blend.

God uses the contrary condition of each fruit to allow us a choice. You can’t assert to be good if you’re never been tempted to be bad. You can’t assert to be faithful if you’re never had the prospect to be unfaithful. Integrity is built by defeating the temptation to be dishonest; humility grows when we decline to be prideful; and endurance develops every time you snub the temptation to give up. Every time you defeat a temptation, you become more like Jesus!

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