With Eyes Wide Open
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. James 1:12-16 KJV
We are instructed to consider it all joy when we are surrounded by and fall into various temptations, tests and trials. Why? The patient trying of our faith produces perfection (Jas. 1:4). Jesus taught His disciples to avoid temptation (Matt. 6:13). Likewise, in the above text, James doesn’t say consider it joy when we, with eyes wide open, walk into a temptation or intentionally jump into a test or trial. Then he further warns us not allow sin to enter into our temptations.
There are both “holy” and “unholy” trials. Holy trials are God-allowed—when you fall into various temptations (Jas. 1:2). An unholy trial is when you allow the temptation to take you from the affliction or persecution to the solicitation of sin (Jas. 1:13-14). But the blessing is pronounced on the one who perseveres under the trial. “Happy is the man who doesn’t give in and do wrong when he is tempted (Jas. 1:12 TLB).
God allows trials to make us better not worst (Jas. 1:4), but with eyes wide open, notwithstanding the intensity of the trial, we must not allow our selfish desires to lead us to sin. Sin enters in because of a failure to stand on God’s Word and endure (Jas. 1:12). An evil thought enters in our mind and we dwell on it and the thought becomes an action (Jas 1:15). If that happens to you, don’t shift blame: blaming God or others, and don’t make excuses. Realize that the cause of sin is not the temptation but within ourselves; but, God is faithful (1 Cor. 10:13). With eyes wide open, don’t bite the bait!