Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott


November 13, 2012

Dear Friend,

It is wonderfully reassuring to think of a “double grace” our loving Lord offers to us: the grace to help us endure testing and temptation and the grace to forgive us when we fail.

The New Testament typically uses the Greek word peirasmos when speaking of trials, temptations, and testing situations we face in daily life. Such experiences challenge us to forsake our integrity, our virtue and our faith in the Lord who loves us.

Our Lord knows these difficult moments will come our way and offers this grace: No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” I Corinthians 10:13*

James even goes further when he says, “My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” James 1:2-3

So the first grace is that our Lord grants us ways to endure the test, the trial, the temptation.

However, what happens if we fail the test? What happens if we yield to temptation? We discover the wonder of another grace: “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Taken together we see our Lord wants to draw us closer, loving us, strengthening us along the way and providing a way for us to return to him when we stray. “Amazing grace how sweet the sound!”

With joy - E. Stanley Ott
Copyright 2012 E. Stanley Ott
*Scripture from the NRSV