How do you overcome test, trials, and temptations? Don’t focus on the apparent size or strength of the problem, and don’t try to win in your own strength. The key to victory is to keep your eyes focused on the Lord, who is your source of strength and power. Children often learn by watching their parents. In the same way, we learn to be like Jesus by watching Him and doing what He did. The writer of Hebrews said:

Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV)

Some Christians experience a great victory only to have a harder trial rise up immediately afterward. In some cases, this is a counterattack by the enemy, but in others it is the result of their letting their guard down and allowing themselves to depend on someone or something other than God. Be very careful about this! If God is not your source for everything, you are stepping into the devil’s territory.

When you come safely and successfully through a temptation or trial (and you will), continue to build on your victory. Don’t allow yourself to become complacent. Once you pull down a stronghold of sin or evil, be sure to erect a stronghold or fortress of the Word of God in its place. The book of James provides three practical steps in this process that will help you neutralize an attack of the enemy:

  1. Look ahead. Watch out for “good-looking” bait disguising the hidden hook of sin. Consider the consequences of sin—death. Don’t take the bait! “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren” (James 1:16). 
  1. Look around. See and proclaim the goodness of God. He has provision for your every need. When you meet temptation, say, “Why give in to that trap? God has much better things for me.” He wants you to have a miracle!” “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). 
  1. Look within to the nature of Jesus Christ. See that you are clothed with His righteousness. When God looks at you, He says, “You are the best! You have My nature within.” “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures” (James 1:18). 

Once you know what lies ahead—what miracles and blessings are yours in the future—suddenly the trial or test you are going through now won’t seem as difficult to bear. Instead of giving into murmuring, speak the Word. During your trials, remember that while God has prepared a miracle for the “outside,” He also wants to do a work on the “inside” as well:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4).