Wednesday; June 27

The other day I did a lesson on the difference between “temptations” and “trials”.  While these words or often used interchangeably, there seems to be a distinct difference between them.  In fact, the New Testament book of James takes on the topic by noting, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (James 1:3-4).  In essence, God provides trials to challenge us to grow; but satan tempts us in an effort to steal our soul.  To put it succinctly, trials are good – temptations are bad.
At the end of the lesson a friend of mine added another “T” to the mix – “tragedies”.  As we considered tragedies we discussed that due to circumstances, sometimes things happen.  Sure, some tragedies (such as school shootings and drug-induced crashes) have a connection to evil, but I can’t believe that God is the Source of all tragedies and I am not sure that the devil is always to blame when traumatic events occur.  So, that tends to lead me back to the idea that because we live in a world influenced by natural (and accidental) events tough things can happen. 
Even though we might not be able to explain why tragedies happen, that isn’t the final answer – we still must be able to deal with them.  In essence, when we face tragedies, the most important question isn’t “why”, rather it is “how”.  Emphasis should be place on how we can deal with them rather than why they happen.  Jesus seems to address this issue when He implored, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Let’s focus on God being with us in all that we encounter.  It may not always be fun, but with Him we can endure.
Think About It!

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