So how do we pass our tests? What are some temptations we can have when we’re going through something that’s really tough? Here are several common ones I’ve discovered:
1. We can be tempted to go back to an old habit or addiction we’ve been set free from. I smoked for many years, and after I quit, there was a period of time when I would want a cigarette whenever I was upset or felt pressured by something. If there are habits or addictions that have been broken in your life, the devil will try to tempt you to go back to them when you’re having a hard time. Submit yourself to God, humble yourself before Him, and He will give you the strength to resist the temptation.
2. We can be tempted to be angry with God and resent people who don’t have the same problems we have or who have things we want, especially things we think would make our lives easier. This leads to complaining, and God wants us to totally get over complaining because it affects our lives in a destructive way more than we realize. So when you’re tempted to be angry with God or other people and complain, set your mind to praise Him instead and thank Him for His goodness in your life.
3. Trials can tempt us to become indignant and say things like, “Why is this happening to me? I don’t understand why this is happening to me!” We don’t tend to think this way when other people have problems, and it’s easy to look at them and say, “You just need to trust God and press through this…” Instead of wondering why and feeling sorry for ourselves, we need to say, “Don’t panic…this is only a test!” Because the truth of the matter is, this too will pass, and we’ll get through it with more peace and stability if we’ll trust God to do what is best for us at the right time and in His way.
4. We can also be tempted to take matters into our own hands. Have you ever thought, I’m not going to put up with this any more! I’m going to do something about this! When we take matters into our own hands, we delay or miss the blessing that God wants to give us. Instead, we need to be determined to trust God and wait on Him to work things out.
God loves you so much and He has a great plan for your life. Trust that He’s in control and will work things out for your good when you’re going through a trial. The next time you’re being tested, tell God, “I trust You. This is good for me! It doesn’t feel good, but I know You will work it out for my good.” You’ll get closer to God as you go through the test, and on the other side, you’ll thank Him for using it to make you more like Christ.