So, if you think are standing firm be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out that you can stand up under it.
-- 1 Cor 10:12, 13
Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseveance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.... Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will become the crown of life that GOd has promised to those who love him.
When tempted, no one should say "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone, but each one is tempted hn by his on evil desire he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown gives birth to death....
As I did my bible study this evening I read the quote from 1 Corinthians and I thought about my last post. It seemed to really "fit," if you will with what I was thinking when I wrote it. I was tested, we all are in our own ways. Faith is made stronger through tests. Like an iron that is heated and melted and bent into the proper shape, so too faith. Faith must go through a "smelting" process that purifies it. I remember seeing a movie one time, don't ask me which one it was, but there was a line that someone quoted that was attributed to W.C.Fields, the character in the film said that on Fields' deathbead (I think) he was reading the bible and someone asked him why, his reply was "I'm looking for a loophole." That quote came to mind as I read the Corinthians. As we are tested we are given a "loophole" through prayer. Jesus tells us in the Gospels to put our burdens on him, that is our loophole. I did the eventually during my faith struggles, it just took me a long time, but I did. I do that now, too. I know now, that I can't do it alone.
James, on the other hand, sets me straight about verbage. God tests, Satan tempts. I've quoted 2 Corinthians 12 in this blog before, probably more than once, but it is important for me, at least, to know and acknowledge that, sadly, there is a chink in my armour and the thorn of sin gets in my side, but through my faith in Christ and the power of prayer I know that the chink in my armour and the thorn are the tool that Christ strenghtens his presence in my life. Is that Good Lutheran theology? I don't know if it is or not. It just feels good, though, to have the feeling that God has, pardon the expression, got my back for which I am thankful.
Peresevere, friends. Peresevere.