What is the difference between trials and temptations?
Trials are for the purpose of making us better, developing character, making us more like Christ. Sometimes God allows trials to come our way to strengthen our faith. Trials may come in the form of challenges. A difficult day, a sickness, injustice, long lines at the DMV, financial or relational trouble. Yet all of the challenges in life can grow us up and make us stronger. James chapter 1 explains, "when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."
Temptations, on the other hand, are never from God. Temptations are meant to destroy us, to make us ineffective and to ruin our lives. James continues to explain, "remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, 'God is tempting me.' God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away."
We all go through trials in life, and certainly we are all tempted to do wrong. What about you? Are you going through a rough time, a trial that seems to last forever. Hang in there! Or maybe you are being tempted to make decisions that will destroy your future or hurt those who love you the most. Either way, we find in James 4:8, "Come close to God, and God will come close to you." He is there when you need him. He will come close and help you through your trial or give you the strength to resist temptation.