‘Happy is the man who doesn’t give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterwards he will get … his reward….’ James 1:12
Temptation becomes a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block when you realize that it’s just as much an opportunity to do the right thing, as the wrong thing. Temptation just gives you the choice!
It’s helpful to remember that God develops the fruit of the Spirit in us by allowing circumstances in which we’re tempted – to express the exact opposite quality! For instance, he teaches us to love by bringing unlovely people into our lives. It takes no character to love people who are lovely and loving you. God teaches us joy in the midst of sorrow by causing us to turn to him for comfort and strength when all our other supports are gone.
He develops peace within us, not by making things go the way we planned, but by allowing times of chaos and confusion.
Peace comes when we choose to trust God in situations where we’re tempted to worry or be afraid. Likewise, patience is developed through circumstances in which we’re forced to wait and are tempted to be angry or have a short fuse. You can’t claim to be good if you’ve never been tempted to be bad; or be faithful if you’ve never had the opportunity to be unfaithful.
Integrity is built through defeating dishonesty; humility grows as you refuse to give place to pride; endurance develops as you reject the temptation to give up.
The truth is that each time you defeat a temptation, you become more like Jesus!