Read: James 1:12-16
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. (NIV James 1:12-16)
Study: The phrase “don’t lead us into temptation” (Matthew 6:13, Luke 11:4) may sound as if we have to plead with God to not lead us into settings that lure us off the best path for our lives. But God isn’t in the business of tempting us to do wrong. At Connect, we say the phrase with a comma in it: “Lead us, not into temptation.” Matthew’s longer version of the prayer added, “rescue us from the evil one.” That is the way God leads us. Jesus’ prayer promised that God always has our best interests in mind and reminded us to always let God lead us. James was definite: “No one who is tested should say, ‘God is tempting me!’” When something happened that strained your faith, have you ever said (or had someone say to you), “Why is God doing this?” How can James’ assurance that “Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above” (James 1:17) correct and reassure you when you feel like blaming God for bad things in your life?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, lead me, not into temptation, but into the path of a rewarding and fruitful life that you have laid out for me, and for all your beloved children. Amen.