James 1:2-4 (CSB), “Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials (including temptations), 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”
These scriptures in James teach we should be joyful (although not at the moment of suffering – but afterward) because we will learn to lean on God for help. As we see God’s power working in our lives, our faith grows as does our endurance. Philippians 2:13 (NKJV), “it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” This results in becoming a mature, Christ-like follower of Jesus.
A temptation is a specific kind of trial which tries to entice a person to sin. James 1:12-15 (NKJV), “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
God never tempts anyone with evil. The temptation comes from within, from the desires of our sinful flesh. How can we overcome our sinful desires? Recognize you can’t overcome through your own strength. Pray to God for help. Then turn your will and your life over to Him. You could make a list of all the ways you have hurt others and yourself by succumbing to this sinful temptation. Share your list with a trusted friend. Then go and apologize to the people you have hurt. These steps will cause you to grieve. Then you will earnestly avoid repeating the tempting behavior.
2 Corinthians 7:11 (NLT), “Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, . . . such zeal, . . . You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.”