Some words because of their most common usage often only ring in our ears with the most negative of understandings. For Christians ‘temptation’ might be one of those words. And I think it’s understandable why. Temptation is at the source of everything that goes wrong in the creation.
We find temptation right at the root of the fall as Eve and Adam are tempted or drawn into eating the fruit and disobeying the command God given in the garden. It’s not surprising that our Lord teaches us to pray against temptation into sin. Jesus teaches us to pray
And Lead Us Not Into Temptation. (Matthew 6:13)
And because of the scriptures we know God doesn’t tempt us to sin or to believe wrongly or to fall into despair. And yet we do know that God does tempt us, you might say, in the right sort of way. The word ‘tempt’ without any other baggage with it simply means to ‘draw into’ or to lure.
And God does lure us into what is good, what is holy. He lures us or draws us into faith. Just as he did with Abraham when he gave Abraham the command to sacrifice his son, God was drawing Abraham through that affliction to believe on Him and His promises. Even if it meant that Abraham would have to believe that Isaac would be raised from the dead and that God would carry out his promise through him. Abraham was tempted, he was lured or drawn, to believe and rely wholly on God’s promises.
God does the same to you and to me. He tempts us in the right way. He draws us into his words and promises often when we are the most vulnerable when we are afflicted. Even when we or maybe a loved one we care very much about is dying. He draws us into his words and his promises where we have no other place to turn other than to him. That God tempts us in the good and holy way to believe only upon him, his promises for our care, for our life, and for our salvation.
God grant us this faith. Amen.