Trials & Temptation

  1. 1 Cor. 10:13 - No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. Concerning any temptation we face, what is the way of escape?  First, we are to stay in the Word. To overcome temptation, lust, fornication, murmuring—and everything else that can trip you up—stay in the Word. I believe the reason Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 6–8 is because it was that passage upon which He was meditating at the moment Satan came to tempt Him. Stay in the Word, gang. It is the Sword of the Spirit with which you can do battle with the Enemy most effectively.Second, we are to speak out the Word. In His wilderness temptation, Jesus spoke audibly. Satan cannot read your mind. He cannot look into your heart. Therefore, he is beat back by what we say.“It is written,” Jesus said, again quoting from Deuteronomy 6:13, “thou shalt fear the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve.” And again, I believe it was audibly and forcefully that Jesus said, “I will worship My Father only, singularly, exclusively.”
     Hebrews 13:5 (b), 6 - “He hath said… that we may say,” the writer of Hebrews declared. It’s not, “He hath said that we may think,” or, “He hath said that we may know,” or even, “He hath said that we may pray,” but, “He hath said that we may say.” Therefore, I suggest that speaking the Word at the moment of temptation changes the entire situation. Since the words “It is written” are like the sound of fingernails on a blackboard to Satan, I challenge you to speak them the next time you’re tempted. Whatever the challenge might be, speak the Word audibly and watch how it changes the atmosphere radically.Finally, we are to submit to the Word. Both Satan and Jesus knew the Scriptures. Both spoke the Scriptures. But only Jesus submitted to the Scriptures. Big difference. Jesus wasn’t using the Word like a magic charm or incantation to cause Satan to flee. Rather, He was committing Himself to obey it completely. Jesus did what the Word said, and that is where the power is.For example, maybe you find yourself wanting to gossip about your boss or murmur against your wife. But, knowing the Word says to bless those who persecute and despitefully use you, you choose instead to pray for them. That is what it means to be submitted to the Word. And that is what renders Satan powerless.…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.Staying in the Word, speaking out the Word, submitting to the Word—if we do these things as Jesus modeled them for us, there will be a wide- open door through which we can escape temptation very easily. Try it. You’ll see. - From the commentary on 1 Cor.`0:13 and the commentary on Temptation from Courson’s Application Commentary by Jon Courson.
  2. Satan will do everything he can to divide Christians and destroy our witness.  Only the Holy Spirit can subdue our old nature and overcome it with God’s love. - From page 105 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  3. Proverbs 28:26  - Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. Never give in to the temptation to trust your feelings over God's promises. - From commentary on Proverbs 28:26 in “The Evidence Bible Notes by Ray Comfort. 
  4. In our fallen state, communing with God and becoming more like Jesus often requires pain. Pain awakens us to God and then refines us for God. It awakens us because, as C. S. Lewis said, sometimes you only look up when you’re on your back. He wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”[ 32] He also said that pain “plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul.”[ 33] Some people will never lay down their arms and surrender to Christ unless they are first awakened by pain and suffering. - Turek, Frank (2014-12-18). Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case (pp. 132-133). NavPress. Kindle Edition .    
  5. It is vital that you stay focused on God’s plan, not your pain or problem. That is how Jesus endured the pain of the cross, and we are urged to follow his example: “Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards.” Corrie ten Boom, who suffered in a Nazi death camp, explained the power of focus: “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest!” Your focus will determine your feelings.

    The secret of endurance is to remember that your pain is temporary but your reward will be eternal. Moses endured a life of problems “because he was looking ahead to his reward.” Paul endured hardship the same way. He said, “Our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!”

    Don’t give in to short-term thinking. Stay focused on the end result: “If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later.”
    - From the Day 25 Transformed by Trouble reading in the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
  6. Origin of Evil - The next verse in Ezekial’s account gives us the key to the origin of evil in the universe.  “Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created, till iniquity was found in thee” (verse 15).  What this iniquity was is revealed to us in some detail in the prophecy of Isaiah, but there are already interesting in our passage that we may not pass by. The fact given here is that iniquity came by what we might term spontaneous generation in the heart of this being in whom such magnificence of power and beauty had been combined and to whom such authority and privilege had been given.  Here is the beginning of sin.  Iniquity was found in the heart of Lucifer.  So far as we know, here is the only verse in the Bible which states clearly the exact origin of sin.  - From page 30 in the book Invisible War by Donald Grey Barnhouse.   
  7. If you stopped asking God to change your external circumstances and prayed instead a prayer of surrender, asking Him to change you, what do you think would happen? What keeps you from praying this kind of prayer? Swindoll, Charles R (2012-08-01). Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind (p. 44). Worthy Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  8. Philippians 4:6-7 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
  9. Maybe you are going through a struggle in your life. A tragedy strikes you or someone close to you, and you are hurting. So you go to God in prayer, and you ask him to comfort you. Do you realize what God does? He doesn’t give you comfort. Instead he gives you the Holy Spirit, who is called the Comforter.11 The Holy Spirit literally comes to dwell in you and puts the very comfort of Christ inside you as you walk through your pain.   - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 819.
  10. Don’t be deceived by Satan and his lies.  Instead, stay close to Christ - because the closer you are to Him, the farther away you are from the devil. - From page 105 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  11. Ezekial 7:19 They cast their silver into the streets, and their gold is like an unclean thing. Their silver and gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. They cannot satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it. For it was the stumbling block of their iniquity. The love of money will always be an overwhelming temptation until a man deals with the stumbling block of his iniquity (see 1 Timothy 6:9- 10). Once sin is forgiven and he is given a new heart with new desires, the saved can see through the folly of chasing riches. It has been well said, "Man seeks both wealth and wisdom. Having found one, he seldom seeks the other." The love of money may turn the head of a judge and cause him to pervert justice. But all the gold and silver in the world will not turn the head of the judge of the universe on the day of wrath.  - From commentary on Ezekial 7:19 in “The Evidence Bible Notes by Ray Comfort. 
  12. We do stumble. We sometimes wander in disobedience to God. Our waywardness and weakness threaten to overwhelm us! But we have a Savior who understood. He faced our temptations and overcame them. We can overcome them also if we come with boldness to claim God's mercy and grace.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 3,  at location 1641.
  13. RUN AWAY… AND FAST - The devil may yell “Cowart!” after you, but do not be afraid to run away.  There is only one method of meeting temptation - flee to the Lord.  If it is necessary, the Christian can flee to the Lord in the very midst of a great temptation, but it is better for him to flee even from the situation where the temptation will be the greatest. - From page 86 of the book Illustrating Great Themes of Scripture by Donald Grey Barnhouse.
  14. Most of us probably do not have literal human enemies, at least not serious enemies. But if you are a Christian, you do have one great spiritual enemy who is worse than any human enemy imaginable. This is the devil, whom the apostle Peter compared to “a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Lloyd-Jones says of this foe, “The devil [is] the adversary of our souls. He can use our temperaments and our physical condition. He so deals with us that we allow our temperament to control and govern us, instead of keeping temperament where it should be kept. There is no end to the ways the devil produces spiritual depression. We must always bear him in mind.” - From the Commentary on Psalm 13 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series by John Montgomery Boice.
  15. Refuse to give up. Be patient and persistent. The Bible says, “Let the process go on until your endurance is fully developed, and you will find that you have become men of mature character... with no weak spots.”

    Character building is a slow process. Whenever we try to avoid or escape the difficulties in life, we short-circuit the process, delay our growth, and actually end up with a worse kind of pain — the worthless type that accompanies denial and avoidance. When you grasp the eternal consequences of your character development, you’ll pray fewer “Comfort me” prayers (“Help me feel good”) and more “Conform me” prayers (“Use this to make me more like you”).  - From the Day 25 Transformed by Trouble reading in the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
  16. Jealousy is a powerful, formidable creature. It can quickly wreak havoc in our lives and relationships. Jealousy has destroyed countless marriages, friendships, families, businesses, and even churches. How can we as believers conquer or avoid this powerful temptation?
    (1) By doing all things for the glory of God, not self.  “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Co. 10:31).
    (2) By being content with what God gives us.  “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Ph. 4:11).  “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (1 Ti. 6:8).  “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (He. 13:5).
    (3) By being filled with the Holy Spirit.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Ga. 5:22-23).  “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ep. 5:18).
    (4) By loving our neighbors as ourselves.  “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up” (1 Co. 13:4).  “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another” (Ga. 5:13-15).
    (5) By rejoicing in the blessings of others.  “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep” (Ro. 12:15).
    (6) By staying humble before the Lord.  “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (Mt. 23:12).  “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (Js. 4:10).
    (7) By esteeming others better than ourselves.  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (Ph. 2:3-4).  - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 4:4 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  17. Paul expressed this in his second letter to the church in Corinth, Greece. He wrote, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”[ 38] In other words, the brief suffering we experience here pales in comparison to the joy we will experience in eternity, and it helps enhance our capacity to enjoy God now and in eternity. - Turek, Frank (2014-12-18). Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case (p. 135). NavPress. Kindle Edition.
  18. Psalm 18:17 - He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. As we face problems that seem much too great for us to handle alone, we need to understand that the same problem is as nothing in the face of God. God is on our side, and He will surely help us whenever we call upon Him. David would not have faced his Goliath without God on his side. Should we ever face our own Goliath s without Him?  Prayer: Lord, send Your might to see me through the storms of life. When trials seem to gigantic to handle, be the source of my strength. Deliver me and comfort me, O Lord. Amen. - from the Wisdom from the Psalms February 12, 2016 devotional by Dan R. Dick.
  19. “How come I got canned?” “Why did she dump me?” “How come it’s not working out?” you ask.  Don’t be blown away.  Realize that the Lord is changing your direction because there’s something He wants to do that will ultimately be a blessing. Storms of correction and perfection, storms of protection and direction—how can you know which one you might be in? Talk to the Father.   “Why am I in this storm, Lord? Is it correction—or are You perfecting me for what You see is coming my way?   Is there a new direction for my life—or are You protecting me from something that would be very damaging?” How long has it been since you got away to spend time with the Lord? Clear your schedule, seek Him, and you’ll be blown away by His goodness rather than by the storm. - From commentary on Acts 27:13-44 from Courson’s Application Commentary by Jon Courson.
  20. Pain and suffering also refines us, which we desperately need because we are fallen, selfish creatures. It’s much easier to be bad than good, and pain, not pleasure, helps correct that. If you don’t think so, imagine what would happen to us if God thwarted every evil or immoral choice we made so that no one would ever experience pain or suffering. There would be no consequences  — everyone would be indestructible until age eighty. What would become of us? Life would become trivial, and we would become more reckless and self-centered than we already are.  - Turek, Frank (2014-12-18). Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case (p. 133). NavPress. Kindle Edition.
  21. Point to Ponder: There is a purpose behind every problem.
    Verse to Remember: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (niv)
    Question to Consider: What problem in my life has caused the greatest growth in me? - From the Day 25 Transformed by Trouble reading in the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
  22. I developed what I call my “problems theory” about the way life works. It’s pretty simple, actually. My theory is that our problems never go away.  If we want to enjoy life in the vibrant, fully alive way that we all crave, then we must have something to focus on that is bigger than our problems. When we have a larger perspective, we realize our problems are really not significant in the long run.  - From location 854-859 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  23. When our minds are on Christ, Satan has little room to maneuver.  - From page 105 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  24. James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (ESV) Trials are “tests” that challenge faith (vv. 2–5). When trials occur, one should count it all joy —not meaning mere worldly, temporal happiness, but rather spiritual, enduring, “complete joy” in the Lord who is sovereign over all things, including trials. - From the ESV Study Bible
  25. Mark 14:38: Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. - "The reason why many fall in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their kne es long before the battle came... Anticipate your battles; fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory." R. A. Torrey - From commentary on Mark 14:38 in “The Evidence Bible Notes by Ray Comfort. 
  26. …..it is evident that the origin of sin in the pride of Satan was soon followed by the outward manifestation of a rebellion of his will against the will of God.  It is of extreme importance that we catch the transition which comes with the introduction of this second will.  It is now manifest that eternity has taken on a new aspect, or, to put it otherwise, that time is fully under way.  The quality of eternity is the fact that there is but one will - the will of God.  then all was holy, all was righteous: there was no evil whatsoever.  The quality of time is that there is more than one will.  There came into the universe a second will, rising form the heart of Lucifer, the highest and most wonderful of all the created beings in the universe.  In addition to the voice of God, there was now a second voice saying: “I will…”  There was rebellion; but, more important, back of the rebellion, there were two wills.  That means conflict.  It is possible to say that the shortest of sin is simply “I will…”  It makes no difference who speaks the words.  The will of God is a line of truth and goodness that is unbending.  It moves straight and with certainty across the universe of space, time and thought.  Any variation from that will of God, be it only in the slightest fraction of a degree, causes a tangent of separation and deviation - and that is sin.  In the future the universe will get back to eternity; there shall be no more time, because there shall be no more deviation from the will of God. Christ shall put down all rule and authority and power.  For He must reign until hHe hath put all enemies under His feet (I Corinthians 15:24, 25). Those of us in whom God plants eternal life are made partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through wanting one’s own way (II Peter 1:4, Greek).  We then are able to say from the heart that which no man who is not born again can say, namely, “Thy will be done…” - From page 41 of the book Invisible War by Donald grey Barnhouse.
  27. Spiritually, your mind is your most vulnerable organ. To reduce temptation, keep your mind occupied with God’s Word and other good thoughts. You defeat bad thoughts by thinking of something better. This is the principle of replacement. You overcome evil with good. Satan can’t get your attention when your mind is preoccupied with something else. That’s why the Bible repeatedly tells us to keep our minds focused: “Fix your thoughts on Jesus.” “Always think about Jesus Christ.”

    “Fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.” 
    - From the Day 26 Defeating Temptation reading in the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
  28. This is a clear warning against evil associations. Forming alliances or getting involved with evil people will lead to catastrophe. If we associate with evil people, they will encourage us to join them in their sinful 1. And if we continue to associate with them, eventually we will cave in to their seduction. We cannot resist the lust of the flesh continually. Eventually we want a second helping of pie or cake, and if a young lady continues to date an immoral young man, eventually she caves in to the lust of the flesh and commits immorality. If a person associates with thieves, eventually he will join in the stealing. The same is true with those who smoke, take drugs, drink alcoholic beverages, look at pornographic material, or commit a host of other sins and misbehaviors. If a person associates with the disobedient and sinful of this world, eventually the person will join in the forbidden 1. Consequently, the hand of God’s judgment will fall upon him. God’s hand is raised against all sin, against all evil associations. Listen to God’s Holy Word:
    I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat” (1 Co. 5:9-11).
    “Be not deceived: evil communications [companionships] corrupt good manners” (1 Co. 15:33).
    “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Co. 6:14-16).
    “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ep. 5:11).
    “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” (2 Th. 3:6).
    “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment” (Ex. 23:2).

    “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful” (Ps. 1:1).

    “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men” (Pr. 4:14).
    “Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.” (Pr. 24:1).
    “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” (Is. 52:11).
     - From the “Thought 1” reading in Isaiah 20:1-6 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  29. If you’re serious about defeating temptation you must manage your mind and monitor your media intake. The wisest man who ever lived warned, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” Don’t allow trash into your mind indiscriminately. Be selective. Choose carefully what you think about.  Follow Paul’s model: “We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.” This takes a lifetime of practice, but with the help of the Holy Spirit you can reprogram the way you think.
  30. James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (ESV) - In vv. 2- 4 James explains that trials are reason for rejoicing because of the whole some effects they produce. The word "trials" (peirasmois) describes things that put a person to the test. They may be difficulties that come from without, such as persecution, or they may be inner moral tests, such as temptations to sin. James uses the word in the former sense in vv. 2- 4 and in the latter sense in vv. 13- 18. The outward trial, rather than being a reason for unhappiness, can be a ground for "pure joy." The expression is pasan charan, which speaks of full and complete joy. And it is not merely the coming of a single trial that is described, James speaks of the experience of "trials of many kinds. The reason that trials are to be considered grounds for joy is that they are capable of developing "perseverance." They put the believer's faith to the test, and this experience produces the desired result. The question answered by the testing of faith is whether or not faith will persevere. If it is genuine faith, testing serves to develop its persistence. - From commentary on James 1:2 from "The Expositor’s Bible Commentary" by Frank E. Gaebelein
  31. So much of pain and suffering is not in our control. God knows that few of us would agree to go through it if we could throw a switch and avoid it. Short-term comfort is too tempting. Comfort tends to stagnate us. But pain produces growth, which enhances our capacity to achieve our ultimate purpose  — to know God and enjoy Him forever. - Turek, Frank (2014-12-18). Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case (p. 137). NavPress. Kindle Edition
  32. The greatest roadblock to Satan’s work is the Christian who, above all else, lives for God, walks with integrity, is filled with the Spirit, and is obedient to God’s truth.  - From page 106 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  33. Spiritual separation is a command of the Lord. A true follower of the Lord is not to walk in the paths of unbelievers, for unbelievers reject the Lord. They rebel against His Word and His holy commandments. Most unbelievers live selfish, greedy, and covetous lives. They seek the possessions and pleasures of this life, often spending far beyond their financial resources and ending up in debt. Others seek to amass riches and property, hoarding wealth when multitudes of needs throughout the community go unmet. Still others seek the sensual pleasures of this world, pleasures that arouse and stimulate the flesh such as illicit sex, immoral partying, pornography, and so on. Others overeat, shoplift, or become addicted to recreation, sports, or a host of other fleshly cravings. The majority of unbelievers selfishly ignore or neglect the Lord’s demand that we help and serve others.  
    No true believer is to follow or walk in the path of unbelievers, those who live unbalanced lives and in many cases, wicked lives. We are not to participate in their evil associations. Listen to what God’s Holy Word says about spiritual separation:
    wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat” (1 Co. 5:9-11).
    “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Co. 6:14-16). 

    “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful” (Ps. 1:1).
    “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.…My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path” (Pr. 1:10, 15).
    “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men” (Pr. 4:14).
    “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul” (Pr. 22:24-25).
    “Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats” (Pr. 23:6).

    - From the "Thought 1” reading about Isaiah 8:11-22 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  34. When we believe God, we take him at his word and walk with him through whatever he places before us.  With faith in God we can face sickness, loss of job, family difficulties, and uncertain futures.  With faith in God we can glorify our Father in daily living, find and follow his will for our lives, and receive his commendation of "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matt. 25:21).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 11, B. Examples of Faith, verses 11:30-38 at location 5034.
  35. James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (ESV) Poverty and persecution appear to have been the biggest trials faced by these early Christians, but James has in mind all kinds of difficulties that can pose threats to our faith in God—sickness, the death of loved ones, a rebellious child, a hated job. Whatever the trial, James commands Christians to rejoice (1:2). How is this possible? By recognizing that God can use these problems and tribulations to produce Christians who are “mature and complete” (1:4). Trials, which test us as fire refines ore (see also 1 Pet. 1:7), lead to a more settled, stable Christian character; and as we continue taking a Christian viewpoint on trials, this perseverance will be able to finish its work of producing strong, mature, unshakable believers. - From the “Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary by Gary M. Burge and Andrew Hill.
  36. 2 Corrinthians 7:4: - I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy. - "Receive every inward and outward trouble, every disappointment, pain, uneasiness, temptation, darkness and desolation with both hands, as to a true opportunity and blessed occasion of dying to self and entering into a fuller fellowship with thy self- denying, suffering Savior." John Wesley - From commentary on 2 Corrinthians 7:4  in “The Evidence Bible Notes by Ray Comfort. 
  37. Trusting God to save us when we are assaulted by evil has no downside. He meets the weakness and foolishness of faith with his power and wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). Therefore, the question we should be asking each day is more profound than, Have I said a prayer? That’s a good thing to do. But we should be asking ourselves, Am I trusting God right now, where it counts for me? If we welcome God as our ally and yield to his way, his timing, his control, his glory, he will fight for us. And we will have no regrets. He never lets faith go unmet. But if we set our own terms, we will fight alone. Jesus said, “According to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29, KJV). Moment by moment, that is the key to life. - From location 1521 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  38. The greatest hindrance to Satan’s destructive efforts is our standing strong in the knowledge and fear of the Lord. - From page 106 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  39. We should not be surprised by difficulties.  Faith, honestly pursued, will make us stronger in times of hardship. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 1 pg. 95. 
  40. Although the Lord had the power to destroy Satan with a breath, He did not do so.  It was as though an edict had been proclaimed in heaven: "We shall give this rebellion a thorough trial.  We shall permit it to run its full course.  The universe shall see what a creature, though he be the highest creature ever to spring from God’s Word, can do apart from Him.  We shall watch this experiment, and permit the universe of creatures to watch it. during this brief interlude between eternity past and eternity future called time.  In it the spirit of independence shall be allowed to expand to the utmost.  And the wreck and ruin which shall result will demonstrate to the universe, and forever, that there is no life, no joy, no peace apart from a complete dependence upon the Most High God, Possessor of heaven and earth.”  - From page 51 in the book Invisible War by Donald Grey Barnhouse.
  41.  Why does God allow pain and suffering to continue? Because this life isn’t about temporal happiness. It’s about discovering and accepting the ultimate happiness of knowing God. Thus, God allows evil to respect our free choices, to bring people to Himself, and to refine and grow people so that they may know and enjoy Him more fully. As Peter Kreeft put it, “Sin has made us stupid, so that we can only learn the hard way.”[ 45] This world isn’t a good resort, but it’s a great gymnasium. - Turek, Frank (2014-12-18). Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case (p. 141). NavPress. Kindle Edition.
  42. As our trials increase, we have need to grow stronger and stronger in that which is good; our faith stronger, our resolution stronger, our love to God and Christ stronger. Or it may be understood in opposition to our being strong in our own strength: "Be strong, not confiding in thy own sufficiency, but in the grace that is in Jesus Christ." Compare Eph. vi. 10, Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. When Peter promised rather to die for Christ than to deny him he was strong in his own strength; had he been strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, he would have kept his standing better. Observe, 1. There is grace in Christ Jesus; for the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, John i. 17. There is grace enough in him for all of us. 2. We must be strong in this grace; not in ourselves, in our own strength, or in the grace we have already received, but in the grace that is in him, and that is the way to be strong in grace. - From the Matthew Henry Commentary in the MacSword software program. 2 Timothy 1
  43. If your heart is not attuned to God, it will become a catch basin for every device of the devil.  Yes, Satan is at work in our world.  The Bible is my authority.  - From page 106 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  44. Mark 9:19  Leave it in God's Hands - When we face despair because the task seems too large, we should leave it in God's hands and do the work that needs to be done. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Mark" by Max Anders and Rodney L. Cooper, Mark 9, II. Commentary, B. Borrowed Glory (9:14-32), page 149.
  45. James 1:3 Satan tempts us in order to bring out the worst in us; God tests us to bring out the best. (See verse 12). - From commentary on Jamess 1:3  in “The Evidence Bible Notes by Ray Comfort. 
  46. God, man or the devil: these are the three possible sources of hope.  The strategy of the invisible warfare has been planned by God in order that these questions shall be answered, once and for all, in the presence of all created beings whether human, celestial of infernal.  Human history is the record of the attempts of man and Satan to do something for man.  When asked why an omnipotent God permits the holocaust of human history, the answer from the Word of God must be that He permits it in order to demonstrate to the universe that neither Satan nor man can do anything for themselves or for each other.  If it were otherwise, these two forces, which are at enmity with each other and both against God as their common enemy, could say either separately or together: “We have done it.  We have succeeded in organizing ourselves and are no longer dependent upon God.We have demonstrated our capacity and ability.  We have established a kingdom, and we do not need the plans of God for His kingdom of heaven over earth…” There is a third possibility which is most certainly the expression of Biblical thought.  It is that God both cares and has the power, but that He is planning something which demands the coming chaos of man’s world in order to demonstrate to all that help is to be found in Himself alone.  God knows that the world is in terrible condition.  God has the power to alter it, but will not do so today because of His greater purpose.  God cares tremendously.  This is evident in Calvary. But He knows that His care can be manifest today only to the select company of individuals who have accepted the principals that rise from His eternal decrees.  These admit the principal of their own spiritual bankruptcy and have turned utterly to the Lord Jesus Chris as God’s  one and only answer to the problem.  There is a sense, therefore, in which God does not exercise any care over the rebels who people this world.  Something of this is seen in the prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ: “I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine”  (John 17:9)…. This is why the worldlings, seeing the disasters of human suffering, draw the conclusion that God is not caring for His creation.  they do not understand God; they do not understand the difference between the creatures who refuse the Lordship of God and those who have bowed to it in Christ and have thus become the children of God.
    In short, they do not recognize that there is a war on, and that God neither will nor can yield.  There must be the unconditional surrender to Him of His universe.  He is Lord of all strategy, an, when in His Judgments certain lessons have been made obvious to the dullness of the fallen creation, He will move to end the present phase of the struggle and bring in the righteousness which shall, most certainly, come to the creation in the moment God has chosen for it.  Meanwhile, the war goes on, and it is fought entirely under a set of rules which has been drawn up by God and which He is able to enforce, even now, upon the reluctant enemies in the armies of Satan and in the camp of humanity. - from pages 94 & 95 of the book Invisible War by Donald Grey Barnhouse.
  47. The Messiah will deliver all who are under the yoke of bondage or oppression (v. 4). Just as God gave Gideon victory over the Midianites, so He will give victory to any who trust Him. No matter what the bondage is that enslaves a person, the Lord will infuse the person with enough power to overcome it. And if enslavement is being forced upon a believer by others, the Lord will give the power to endure the suffering being inflicted upon him. Even if the believer is being oppressed to the point of death, the believer will be given the power to conquer death. Quicker than the eye can blink, the believer will be escorted into the very presence of the Lord Himself. Isaiah was proclaiming that the Messiah will set the people free from the enslavement being forced upon them by their enemies. The Messiah will have the power to break any oppression or bondage weighing His people down. He will deliver those who put their trust in Him, breaking the yokes, bars, or chains of those who persecute His people.
    “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Co. 10:13).
    “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (2 Ti. 4:18).
    “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” (2 Pe. 2:9).
    “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence” (Ps. 91:3). 
     - From the reading about Isaiah 9:6-7 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  48. The time to prepare for life’s disappointments and hurts is in advance. - From page 111 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  49. Many times temptation comes from the company that you keep and their activities.  Choose your friends wisely and you will do well avoiding situations where more temptation arises. When it does, God has given us feet to flee the temptation.   - Ken Little
  50. James 1:2–12 - Life brings constant tests and trials. God designs them to bring us to maturity (vv. 2–4). Yet he doesn’t leave us to strive alone but promises wisdom for the trial, which he gives “generously” and “without reproach” (v. 5). Yet we must ask sincerely for genuine faith that unites us to him (vv. 5–8). Before God, rich and poor, high and low, are the same—weak, mortal, humbled (vv. 9–11).  - Commentary excerpt from the "Gospel Transformation Bible Notes” by Crossway. 
  51. Don’t let failure or disappointment cut you off from God or make you think the future is hopeless.  When God closes one door, he often opens another - if we seek it.  - From page 111 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney
  52. What God will send or allow as a trial to strengthen our faith, Satan will seek to exploit to get us to sin. Conversely, what Satan throws our way as a temptation, God allows to be a trial. Satan wants to use the event to tear us down and wipe us out; God wants to use the same event to show us how faithful He is and how real He can be. - Excerpt about James 1:2 from Courson’s Application Commentary (3 Vol. Set) by Jon Courson.
  53. James 1:2-4 - James does not urge his readers to react positively if they fall into trials but when they fall into trials. Trials are not electives in God's school; they are required courses. Sooner or later, testings will come. They are not intended to give God an opportunity to see how we are doing but to let us see how far we have come- or failed to come.  

    Moreover, testings are designed to mellow us:"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience" (1:3). That is why James tells us to "count it all joy" when these testings come. They are not mindless, senseless woes unleashed upon us by a cold and impersonal fate. They are permitted by a wise and loving heavenly Father, who is too caring to be unkind and too wise to make any mistakes. Satan was not allowed to touch Job at any time or in any way apart from God's express permission. Moreover, each time he obtained permission to attack God's beloved servant, God drew the line in the sand beyond which Satan could not go. - Excerpt from commentary from “John Phillips Commentary Series (27 volumes)”  by John Phillips.
  54. Learn from your disappointments and failures and with God’s help seek to overcome them.  Ask yourself, could I have done anything to prevent this?  Were my hopes and dreams unrealistic, or were my motives wrong?  Is ther a new path God wants me to explore?  - From page 112 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  55. It is pretty much widely known that the longer you stick around in a situation that is deteriorating and presenting more temptation, the more temptation you will have to endure.  And there is danger in succumbing to more peer pressure.  Just say your goodbyes and depart.  In the future, take your own car (or use Uber, Lyft or a cab) so you can leave or even just decline the invitation if you know where the ultimate destination will be...the source of temptation.  It is much easier to think through you decisioning ahead of time so when the situation occurs, you are ready to do the right thing.  I like to thank God for my legs and feet, that I can use to flee temptation, but it is best to plan to avoid it to start with.  - Ken Little
  56. If we continue to commit sin after sin, we harden our hearts. This is a dangerous path to walk because we can harden our consciences to such a degree that we eventually call sin good and righteousness evil. Sin is so deceptive that it can lead us to…
    • twist the truth
    • persecute the righteous
    • condone or ignore the wicked
    • idolize the most depraved
    • demean the most upright
    God’s Word warns us: we can become so stiff-necked and hard-hearted that we doom ourselves. We can actually sin beyond the point of being able to repent and thus be beyond forgiveness.
     - From the reading about Isaiah 22:14 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  57. James 1:2-4 One great objective that God has in mind in allowing us to face the trials of life is to teach us patience. The word for "trying" can be translated "proof." The idea behind the word is that of something being put in the crucible. It also carries the thought of a yoke of oxen being put to the test (Luke 14:19). This "trying of our faith" works "patience." The word used here for "patience" means literally "to abide under" something. We find it very hard to remain quiet under adverse circumstances, but God expects us to endure them cheerfully.  - Excerpt from commentary from “John Phillips Commentary Series (27 volumes)”  by John Phillips.
  58. Disappointments are a part of life; we can’t always have our own way, and we need to learn to separate what is significant from what is merely annoying.  Only in heaven will we be free of all disappointments and failures.  A friend of mine say, “Oh well, a hundred years from now it wont make any difference." - From page 112 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney
  59. It is worthwhile to notice, in passing, that a single man of God, yielded to God, can become so important in the invisible warfare that the earthly enemy king finds it worthwhile to send an army against him, and that, in the spiritual realm, a great number of fallen angels will be deployed by the prince of this world, in order to frustrate the plan of God. …
    The answer of Elisha is a verse of very great importance to us in our study.  “Fear not,” said Elisha, “for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (verse 16). “They,” “us,” “they,” and “them,” are the four words that line up all of the forces, earthly and supernatural and calculate the extent of the powers that oppose each other in the field of battle. … 
    Ordinarily the human eye cannot see the spiritual forces that are arrayed in the invisible realm.  the eye of faith can look into the Word of God and know the truth of the power of the Lord we serve, and can be sure that nothing can ever touch us unless it has passed through the will of God.  We can be sure that though there may be wisdom on the other side, omniscience is on our side alone.  We may be sure that though we find the enemy to be potent, we can find that our God alone is omnipotent.  We deal with the only Being in the universe who has never made a mistake, who has never been astonished, who has never been caught at a disadvantage, who has never been surprised at a superior force or stratagem.
     - from page 134 from the book Invisible War by Donald Grey Barnhouse.
  60. James 1:12 (ESV) - Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
  61. Disappointment and failure are not signs that God has forsaken you or stopped loving you.  The devil wants you to believe God no longer loves you, but it isn’t true.  God’s love for us never fails. - From page 113 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney
  62. From James 1 - How are temptations different from trials? (1:13; see vv. 2–3).  Tempting is trying to entice a person to do something wrong. A trial is a situation in which God provides a person an opportunity to do something right. God never tries to trip us up. But he does allow tough circumstances to build our character and maturity. - From notes on James 1:13 from the book: "Quest Bible Study Notes: The Question and Answer Bible" by Zondervan
  63. We on this side of the cross have something far greater that Elisha ever had.  Thre is that which transcends sighted vision of invisible things.  The Lord told His own disciples that the Holy Spirit dwelt with them, but that the day would come when He would dwell in them (john14:17).  Having a member of the Godhead come to take up His abode within us puts us on a spiritual plane above which was known to men of the Old Testament….And we have the word of our Lord that the least and lowliest from the time of the coming of the Holy Spirit to dwell within, would be considered in God’s sight, greater than John the Baptist because of the presence of the Holy Spirit within.
    It is in the light of this great fact that the New Testament writer lines up the invisible forces to show us the fullness of the supply that is available to us.  “Ye are of God, little children,” the believers are told, “and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4).  Let us remember this when we face difficulty or feel that the forces that are against us are more than we can meet.

    Still 
    more it is our privilege to fly the flag of joy in or lives every day, as the flag is displayed in a kingdom on whatever castle or alace the king is using at the moment, for we have not merely angels with us, but the King of kings, Himself, is in residence.  from pages 135 & 136 of the book Invisible War by Donald Grey Barnhouse.
  64. No situation is beyond God’s control.  Over my wife’s desk are these words: “Fear not the future; God is already there.” - From page 21 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  65. [Jesus] said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Luke 22: 40 NKJV
  66. Don’t savor temptations; don’t dwell on them or toy with them or replay them over and over in your mind.  The more you think about a particular temptation, the more enticing it becomes. - From page 338 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  67. James 1:2 - James shows that when faith is but an empty profession or mere sentiment not based on firm and intelligent convictions of divine truth, the fire of trouble will burn it up. But where there is true faith, affliction naturally leads to deeper thought on one's true condition than under other circumstances and thereby frees the heart from deception and self- righteousness. The source of weakness leads to earnest wrestling with God in prayer; and the experience of the sustaining grace thus obtained strengthens and exhilarates hope. - Excerpt from commentary on James 1:2 from MacArthur’s New Testament Commentary by John MacArthur 
  68. God allows tough situations in our lives in order to refine us and bring us closer to Him. We should approach these times with a right attitude and seek wisdom from God. - From excerpt on James 1:1-27 from Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible Notes: Inspirational Applications for Living Your Faith by Max Lucado.
  69. We can’t flee temptation in our own strength - but God will give us the strength we need, if we will only seek it.  A friend of mine says, “When the devil knocks, I send Jesus to the door!”  - From page 338 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  70. James 1:2 - One Christian grace to be exercised is joy (v. 2). We must not become sad and miserable, which would make us lose heart in the trials we face. Philosophy may instruct people to remain calm in troubles, but Christianity teaches us to be joyful in them. Our trials will brighten our graces now, and it will brighten our crown in the end. There is greater reason for joy in adversities if we consider the other graces that are developed by them. - Excerpt from The New Matthew Henry Commentary by Matthew Henry.
  71. It is not the temptations you have, but the decision you make about them that counts. - From page 338 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  72. James 1:2 - One of the greatest promises regarding such trials or temptations is found in 1 Corinthians, where Paul writes, “No temptation (trial) has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). It is with this kind of joy, hope, and optimism that we should face the trials of life. - Exerpt from James 1:2 commentary from “The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volumes 1-35: Genesis - Revelation” by Stuart Briscoe.
  73. Everyone has temptations but some folks entertain them….Get your eyes off the temptation and onto Christ! - From page 338 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  74. God promises no easy life or days without troubles, trials, difficulties, and temptations.  He never promises that life will be perfect.  He does not call His children to a playground, but to a battleground. - From page 339 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  75. There is that kind of trial which comes simply from living the godly life. As we have said, the one who follows Jesus as Lord and is a citizen of His kingdom is out of step with his society. He or she is the bearer of light in the midst of darkness, and often those in darkness dislike the light and those who bear it (John 1:1–13). - Exerpt from James 1:2 commentary from “The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volumes 1-35: Genesis - Revelation” by Stuart Briscoe.
  76. Every stage of life has its own temptation and dangers, and Satan will do all he he can to exploit them…the time to prepare is now, not when it arrives. - From page 339 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  77. Free a butterfly from its chrysalis, and thus from the struggle of liberating itself, and you destroy its life, for it will never develop the strength to soar as it should. When fortitude is lacking in one of God's children, he has a time- tested remedy- "the testing of your faith." With this in mind, James 'irrational call- "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds"- becomes brilliant. - Excerpt about James1:2 from Preaching the Word Commentary Series (29 Volume Set) by Crossway. 
  78. Be sure that you do not deliberately place yourself in a position to be tempted. - From page 339 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  79. All too often trials prompt groanings and complaints. This kind of response does not contribute to Christian maturity. It only makes matters worse. Trials are not to be seen as tribulations but testings. A test is given to see if a student can pass, not pass out. James gave sound advice on how to score high on every test. One who brings the right attitude to the trial, who understands the advantage of the trial, and who knows where to obtain assistance in the trial will certainly end up on God's honor roll. - Excerpt about James 1:2 from Bible Knowledge Commentary by Walvoord, John and Zuck, Roy, B.
  80. James 1:2 - As human beings, our natural response to difficulties is to read them as negative interlopers that detract from our well- being. James challenges his readers to shift their perspectives and consider their trials from a different angle, an angle that sees in the pain of tribulation a reason for “pure joy.” The description of the joy as “pure” intensifies the idea — every bit of the trial can be redeemed by God for a good use, so the joy is not a trumped- up face put on a deeper melancholy. Rather, this is real or genuine joy that flows from a changed perspective. - Excerpt from commentary from the “Expositor’s Bible Commentary - Revised Series" by Zondervan.
  81. Temptation is not a sin.  It is the yielding that is sin.  All temptation is from the devil.  - From page 340 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  82. Many of the trials and temptations that come into our lives come through our own disobedience. In fact, James teaches us about this error in some detail later in this first chapter (vv. 13–16). Lust draws us away. We “play with fire” to see how close we can get to a given sin without being burned. We sow what we reap. - Exerpt from James 1:2 commentary from “The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volumes 1-35: Genesis - Revelation” by Stuart Briscoe.
  83. Endurance and perfection. The result of the testing of faith is “perseverance” or endurance (hypomone) — a highly prized trait. Hypomone is a new feature added to the character of a Christian in the crucible of testing. This word does not refer to a solitary and exceptional act of fortitude, but to a deeper component of character that manifests itself in various situations. It means active steadfastness, staying power, constancy, and a determination under adversity. But it is colored with the idea of hope, which animates and enriches these other qualities.

    Hypomone is also a means to an end. We should not be satisfied with constancy, as important as this virtue is, but we should let it grow to its fullest, in order to become “mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 
    - Excerpt from the NIV Application Commentary New Testament Set by Bloomberg, Craig L.; Bock, Darrell L.; Burge, Gary M.; Fernando, Ajith; Garland, David E.; Guthrie, George H.; Hafemann, Scott J.; Holmes, Michael W.; Keener, Craig; Liefield, Walter L.; McKnight, Scott; Moo, Douglas J.; Nystrom, David P.; Snodgrass, Klyne; Thielman, Frank, and Wilkins, Michael J.
  84. Only a strong faith - a faith based on God’s Word - will protect us from temptation and doubt.  - From page 340 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  85. The trials to which James refers are the testing and refining situations in life, hard situations in which faith is sorely tried, such as persecution, a difficult moral choice, or a tragic experience. James does not gloss over the reality of the suffering involved—the tears, the pain, the sweat. Instead he points to a transformed perspective of those trials. If one looks at the difficult situation not merely from the perspective of the immediate problem but also from the perspective of the end result God is producing, one can have a deep joy. This is not a surface happiness, but an anticipation of future reward in the end- times (eschatological joy). It is not only possible, but necessary (thus James commands it), for without it one may become so bogged down in present problems as to abandon the faith and give up the struggle altogether. Only with God’s perspective, thus considering oneself already fortunate in anticipation of God’s future reward, can the faith be maintained against the pressures of life. - Excerpt from James 1:2 from "Understanding the Bible Commentary Series, New Testament Set"  by Gasque, W. Ward; Hubbard Jr., Robert L. and Johnston, Robert K.
  86. James 1:3 - This change of perspective, the basis on which we can see trials from the vantage point of genuine joy, is “because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” Jewish literature contained a rich heritage concerning the positive effect of trials. For example, the Lord tests the hearts of his people like gold and silver is tested in a crucible (Pr 17:3), and his remnant will be purified through their difficulties (Isa 48:10–11). In many of the OT passages, the people are tested in fires of their own building with the fuel of disobedience (Eze 22:17–22). Yet God is a redeemer who can carry his people through the water and fire of troubles and bring them out to a place of abundance (Ps 66:12).
    Thus the testing of faith is productive, and James states that it produces “endurance” (hypomonē, GK 5705), or the ability to hold up under the stress of difficult circumstances with a right spiritual posture. As a diamond is formed in the grip of extreme pressure, so the valuable character trait of endurance is crafted in the crucible of trials (see 2Co 6:4; 1Th 1:3; Rev 1:9; 2:2; 14:12). - Excerpt from commentary from the “Expositor’s Bible Commentary - Revised Series" by Zondervan.
  87. Jesus’ final phrase in the Lord’s Prayer has proven difficult to understand. We are to pray, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Mt. 6:13; also Lk. 11:4). Yet elsewhere believers are encouraged to rejoice in the midst of trials (Jas. 1:2), knowing that when we persevere, we will receive the crown of life (Jas. 1:12); moreover, James assures us that God does not tempt anyone (Jas. 1:13, using the related verb form). One way of handling the biblical data is to draw a sharp distinction between trials and temptations. God does not induce anyone to sin, and in fact we are to admit our dependence on God as we pray for protection from temptation. However, trials and sufferings will occur so that our faith can be purified, shown to be true—all of which enables us to grow up into Christian maturity. See NIDNTT- A, 449. - Excerpt from the definition of Tempt, Temptation from Mounce’s Complete Expository  Dictionary of the Old and New Testament Words by William D. Mounce.
  88. Temptation: Recognize it for what it is, and then reject it - immediately and without compromise.  - From page 340 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  89. One reason it is possible to believe oneself to be fortunate in adversity is that the suffering produces a good result even now. With Joseph one might say, “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20). The process of testing faith is like the tempering of steel:the heat, rather than destroying the steel, makes it stronger. - Excerpt from James 1:3 from "Understanding the Bible Commentary Series, New Testament Set"  by Gasque, W. Ward; Hubbard Jr., Robert L. and Johnston, Robert K.
  90. James 1:3 - Appeal is made to both the readers 'faith and the occasion of trial in which that faith (sc. in God) is being put to the test (τὸ δοκίμιον). The latter term, which could be construed in the sense of "act of proving," is better to be understood as "means of testing" (see Dibelius, 72- 73). The thought is that the trials pose a threat to faith. When the trials are borne in the right way they serve to test the quality of faith by producing the result of ὑπομονή ("patient endurance"). The endurance thus becomes "[the] new facet of the believer's character that could not exist without testing" (Davids, 68), when trials are viewed not as necessarily welcome and certainly not to be sought after in a foolhardy or masochistic way (cf. Ign. Rom. 4:1- 2). Rather, trials serve as a feature of the life of trust that refines and shapes believers' knowledge of divine providence and God's holy purpose. Hence suffering of this kind is rightly viewed "from the perspective of Heilsgeschichte," as God's saving plan is worked out in the crucible of trials endured for the faith (see 4 Macc 17:2- 4; Jub. 17:17; 19:8; and T. Jos. 2. - Excerpt from the Word Biblical Commentary (WBC) 60 Volume Set) by Thomas Nelson.
  91. The Bible is intensely practical, and one of the reasons God gave it to us is so we’ll be better prepared to deal with life’s problems and temptations.  All too often we respond to these in ways that don’t reflect Christ…when we do that, Satan is the winner and the cause of Christ suffers. - From page 341 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  92. The Lord is always as close as a prayer, and we need but open our hearts to Him, and His presence will be felt once again. The Lord never hides His face from us, though often He will wait; stepping back like the loving Father that He is, to see whether or not we can struggle through a problem on our own. God wants to see us grow, and He often has to let us struggle a bit in order to allow that growth to occur. Even in those times of trial, however, the Lord is never far away, and He will not allow us to be tried beyond our endurance.  
     Prayer: Help me to know that You are with me in every situation at every moment of the day. I need Your comforting presence in my life, O Lord. Without it, I cannot go on. Amen.  - Excerpt from January 30th devotional reading about Psalm 13:1 from "Wisdom from the Psalms - A Daily Devotional” by Dan R. Dick and Barbour Publishing.