Testing is Not Temptation

This 1-minute devotion clears up confusion between temptation and testing.

I regularly hear people claim that God never uses bad circumstances to test us because James 1:13 says, “When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.”

They are confusing temptation with testing. 

God never tempts anyone to sin, but He uses bad people and bad circumstances to test and refine our faith. For example, God could have saved His people from famine without allowing Joseph to be mistreated, enslaved, and imprisoned. 

God didn't tempt Joseph's brothers or Potiphar's wife to sin, but He used their sins to refine Joseph's faith (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28).(1)  

Difficulties refine our faith in a way that nothing else can. And Joseph's story shows us how to persevere when we face bad people and bad circumstances.

Are you going through hard times? Be encouraged by the passages below:

1 Peter 1:6-7: "In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 

Job 23:10: "When he [God] has tested me, I will come forth as gold."  

Psalm 66:10: "For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver." 

James 1:3: "The testing of your faith produces perseverance."  

1 Peter 4:12-13: "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But Rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." 

(1) See Psalm 105 for a "narration" of how God both prevents harm and allows it to refine His children. Verses 16-22 specifically speak of Joseph. Joseph explained it this way to His brothers: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20).  


This 1-minute devotion clears up confusion between temptation and testing.

This 1-minute devotion clears up confusion between temptation and testing.

Bible Love Notes

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Gail... A very good and honest devotion...I have never thought that God would tempt me because of the very verse in James..Can't understand how people will put words there that are not there.. Testing though is something I think many of us might have experienced.. but not tempting by God...