Dr. Dan Hayden •

Do you know the difference between a temptation and a trial? Both can be times of real testing but one comes from God, and one doesn’t.

James 1:2 says “Consider it all joy my brethren, when you encounter various trials…” Let’s look at that word “trials” today. It’s one of the very important words to understand in this verse.

This Greek word can actually mean two different things. First, it can mean “a test or a trial.” Second, it can mean “a temptation, or enticement to sin.”

Now the temptation part we all understand. The enticement to sin is all around us. But the thing you need to realize, however is that this aspect never comes from God. Later in James 1:13 it says “let no one say when they are tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” Temptations do not come from God.

Trials, on the other hand, are different. Trials are circumstances of life that are difficult and which cause us to have to depend upon God. God brings trials into our lives not to hurt us but to help us. Proverbs 17:3 says “The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold; but the Lord tests hearts.” That’s what He’s doing – He’s testing your heart. Will you trust Him? Will you realize that He is helping you to become more mature? So – “consider it all joy when you encounter various trials.”

And remember God doesn’t tempt you – He tests you.