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)
When we lived on the beach, I enjoyed going to the shore and watching the lapping waves. It was clear when there was something under the surface by observing how the waves reacted. When there was a rock in the way, the waves would part and swirl around the sides. When the water became shallow, the waves would break, forming a white cap on the surface. Far out in the distance, where the sea runs deep, the waves would gently swell, but were overall quite calm. During a storm, the turbulent waves would bring destruction to plants and animals in their path. God’s creation reveals so much to us, even in a simple walk on the beach.
Like the waves, without wisdom and trusting prayer, we can lose our calm during turbulent times. When an obstacle blocks our way, we can lose our direction and focus like water swirling out of control. When the world crowds in on us, like the sand below the wave, we can become ashamed of our faith and lose our boldness to move forward on our mission. The winds of life toss us to and fro and cloud our purpose.
When we need wisdom in making a decision, where should we go?
Doesn’t God want to lead us and direct the paths in which He wants us to go?
How does God give us wisdom?
Through our parents, spiritually mature people, through His Word, His Holy Spirit.
How does James describe someone who doubts that God will answer their prayers?
A wave, tossed and blown by the wind, double minded, unstable….
When God answers the doubter’s prayers, do they believe it was He?
Maybe. Maybe not. It could increase their faith (seeing God answer prayer.) But James also knows, if we really don’t believe God will come through for us, we probably would not give God the credit when He does.
I must add that James is referring to the person that really does not believe God will come through. There is a difference between this and a person that totally believes in God, but doesn’t know how God is going to come through. This is not doubt. This is being uncertain of the way God is going to answer a prayer. Big difference.
When you pray, do you pray knowing that God will answer you?
Does it mean He always answers the way we want, hope or think?
Can we trust Him, that He will come through no matter what the outcome will be?