Alexander MacLaren, in a sermon entitled “Faith Tested and Crowned,” distinguished between being tempted and being tested or tried. He said that “the former word conveys the idea of appealing to the worst part of man, with the wish that he may yield and do the wrong. The latter means an appeal to the better part of man, with the desire that he should stand. Temptation says, Do this pleasant thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is wrong. Trial or proving says, Do this right and noble thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is painful. The one is a sweet, beguiling melody, breathing soft indulgence and relaxation over the soul; the other is a pealing trumpet-call to high achievements.”
Every hardship of life holds the possibility of being a temptation and a trial. By resisting all suggestions we know are wrong and accepting all circumstances as opportunities for growth, we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in His sanctifying work in us. We move toward that desired goal of being “perfect and entire, lacking nothing” (James 1:4). - D.J.D.