” If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
(James 1:5-8 NIV)
James began his letter by telling his readers to consider it joy when we go through tests. As we go through the tests, we develop perseverance, and from perseverance, we develop into Christ’s character, ultimately lacking nothing.
James continues on with that thought in today’s passage. There is an implied “however, if you do find yourself on the journey and need help…” built into verse 5.
I love James’ dry sense of humor. “If”? For me, it’s never “if” – but “when” I lack wisdom. And that’s every day.
To whom do we turn for help? Our friends? Our family? The internet? No. We turn to the creator of all wisdom, the author of life itself, the all knowing One. We turn to God with our questions, James tells us.
James reminds us about the character of God that we bring our questions to. He is generous, and gives without finding fault. He is not a curmudgeon,and does not grumble or make us feel guilty about asking, or act like it’s it’s an imposition to help us out. Instead, God loves to answer our questions, to see us grow and mature and be more like Him.
James reminds us, however, that we must ask in faith, without doubting. This implies humility on our part – seeking God with our whole heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:34-40).
King Solomon expressed that same idea of asking without doubting like this:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
(Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)
James says that if we ask in doubt, we already have our answer. Ouch.
Father, thank You that we can come before You with any issue of life, that You love to answer our questions and see us grow as Your children. Thank You for being faithful and loving, for taking the smallest amount of faith in me and multiplying it to help me grow to be more like You. I humbly come before You and confess my times of unbelief, for not trusting You and trying to live my life on my own, without You, leaning on my own frail and faulty understanding, instead of trusting You and looking to You for wisdom. I do believe – help me in my unbelief (Mark 9:24).
Where are you looking for wisdom and direction in life? Ask God in faith – you won’t be disappointed.