Charles Tindley, an African American pastor in Philadelphia, wrote the hymn “We’ll understand it better by and by.” One stanza says, “Temptations, hidden snares often take us unawares, And our hearts are made to bleed for many a thoughtless word or deed. And we wonder why the test when we try to do our best, But we’ll understand it better by and by.” The first chapter of the Bible book of James reminds of what we all know—temptation is real, both the kind when we face tough times, as well as those inner lures us to do evil. One writer said Satan urges us to act badly but God tests us in order to refine our character to bring out the best in us. James tells us if we draw near to God He will draw near to us. By cultivating a close relationship with God, we can depend on God’s Spirit within us to help us say no to evil and yes to God. At the same time, a closer relationship with God strengthens us for those times when trials may come to refine our character. As human beings living in this world, we will have difficulties. The Good News is that God remains faithful to sustain those who belong to and trust Him.

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