Today's reading reminds me of our Wednesday night course on James - at least one verse does. During last week's course we discussed temptation as opposed to being tested by God. Does God tempt people? Does God test people? What is the difference? It was a great discussion.
Verse 18 of today's reading says, "Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." Of course the "he" being referred to in this verse is Jesus Christ.
Jesus came to earth as a human being. During his time on earth he experienced suffering and temptation. The sufferings and temptations Jesus faced were not only what happen to him on Good Friday, but also throughout his ministry. From Satan's temptations in the wilderness to the drops of blood he shed in prayer before his crucifixion. Therefore he understands our weaknesses and shows mercy on us. As an example, think about Good Friday for a moment (if you have not seen it, you may want to check out Mel Gibson's the "Passion of the Christ"). As Jesus had the power to stop the flogging or crucifixion at any time. Think how tempted he must have been to use that power. The pain must have been unbearable. But he did not stop it. He endured it for our sake.
What are you facing that you need Christ to face with you? When you face trials, go to the Lord for strength and patience. Jesus understands your needs and is able to help.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,” (James 1:2)
Wishing you the best in your walk with Christ,