For the Christian what’s the difference between Satan tempting us and God testing us?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: For the Christian what’s the difference between Satan tempting us and God testing us? — T.T.
A: Temptation is a very powerful thing. Scripture says that mankind is in spiritual warfare and that enemies have power and skill to tempt us. This is why the Bible warns us to flee temptation and not give Satan a foothold (James 4:7; Ephesians 4:27). But often people do not stop to think about that and do not call on the Name of the Lord to keep them from temptation.
Many people believe that when they come to know Christ they will never encounter temptation, but when it comes they are unprepared and in conflict. Sometimes there is a yielding to temptation that leads to discouragement and remorse. The devil tempts and God tests. The Bible says that God allows Satan to tempt us but God uses it as a test often to reveal how weak the flesh is. God does not want us to depend on our own strength to flee temptation; He wants us to depend totally and completely on Him.
Spiritual conflict is at work in the heart of every believer. It is true that the Christian possesses a new nature; but the old sin nature is still there and this is why it is vital to yield to the new nature which Christ dominates, and we can only do this by His power and by calling on His name.
Every believer should commit to memory this wonderful passage: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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