When Jeff Bezos said Amazon was testing drones for package delivery, I’m sure he meant that they were putting the drones to the test in various kinds of bad circumstances, to make sure they would respond faithfully to the commands sent to them by Amazon. No doubt, there are bad guys out there who will also try to influence and control those drones but in a different way. They are going to try to override the delivery instructions, to tempt them off course, so to speak, in order to steal the goods. Presumably, there will be two kinds of testing going on for the drones – perhaps even simultaneously. Amazon’s testing will be designed to make them succeed; the other type of testing will be designed to make them fail.
There are two kinds of trials, two kinds of tests that happen to us humans, too. God allows us to encounter trials, in order to help us learn to operate responsively to His instructions. But we also encounter temptations (in Greek – both “trial” and “temptation” are the same word) designed to cause us to go astray or be destroyed. This kind of test, temptations, come from Satan. Remember the distinction between those two kinds of testing as you read these words from Jesus’ brother, James:
“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” (James 1:13-14)
Temptations that drag us down toward evil and destruction never come from God. His tests are designed to help us “fly right.” Satan’s temptations usually are experienced as “evil desires.”
“Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:15)
If we respond to the commands from the One Who made us, the end result is life, not death:
“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” (James 1:16-18)
Quote: The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.