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Tricked or Trusting

James 1:16-18
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. (NIVUK)

Every temptation is a confidence trick. Satan shows us opportunities to satisfy our ungodly desires, and tricks us into feeling that it must be ok, or even (wrongly) something Jesus would do. Because we want it so much, we brush aside our conscience, refuse to check it out in God's Word, ignore the idea of praying about it; and then we buy the lie. This is as sensible as investing in a bankrupt company. But that was what Adam and Eve did in Genesis 3:1-7. Satan lured them into doubting that God meant what He said, (Genesis 3:1), then to believe that God was wrong (Genesis 3:4), because He would refuse to give them what was best (Genesis 3:5) ... and so they fell into temptation.

James says that we should make sure that we are not deceived. Satan tricks us into believing that God won't give us what is best for us in our circumstances. If we believe that, then we will do whatever we can to get it for ourselves! But the truth is: God is an amazingly kind and generous Father. His gifts always perfectly match both our need and His desire to be glorified through our lives. God does not respond in a fickle way, as if depending on a mood. He is always the same, and never changes (Hebrews 13:8). God, who is the Creator of light, can never cast a shadow or leave His people in the dark. If we walk in the light as He is in the light then we have open fellowship with Him and other believers, and the darkness of our sin is extinguished as the blood of Christ continually atones for our sin (1 John 1:7).

It was God's choice that we have come to trust in Him. He has given us His unchanging Word to show us the right way to go (Psalm 119:105); the gospel of salvation. Indeed, it was through trusting in God's grace and the sacrifice of Jesus that we have been brought out of darkness into His wonderful light (2 Corinthians 4:6;  1 Peter 2:9). God's Word is truth; and when we believe what it says about Jesus - the light is switched on in our hearts and we are reborn ... to become like Him.

So if God is so kind, why do we panic when things go wrong, and take matters into our own hands? We do have a responsibility to take action - but that must be at the Lord's command and not our human reaction, otherwise we may be tricked again by thinking that our emotions are God's will. No, we need to test our reactions by His Word. How different our working life would be if we were 100% confident that the Lord will work out everything for our good (Romans 8:28)? Our response to temptation or any testing would be prayer instead of panic, and quiet confidence instead of confusion (Isaiah 30:15). Yet much of our background and education screams at us that if we don't do something, there will be disaster. Handling things differently takes time and experience, but it starts when we believe that God is in command and will give us the best. Then He will harvest fruit from our lives which will glorify Him, bless others and bring us joy also.

Prayer 
Dear Father God. Thank You for being unchangeably good all the time. Please forgive me when I think and act as if You are not in command. Help me to believe the truth about Your character and to accept that You will give me what I need, so that my life can glorify you. Help me to trust You in this, even when my working life becomes so complicated. Help me to take a step back and see my circumstances in the light of Your power and grace. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams

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