Verse: James 1:5-8
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
When I began working on this devotion, I read over the text in multiple translations and then looked at a commentary on James, waiting for something to move me. That was when I felt God broke in and said, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God!” Right. I missed the most important step! DUH.
What do you do first? Do you remember to go to God for wisdom and help? Or do you go to a friend or the Internet? How do you deal with relationship problems or financial problems? Often our first tendency is to seek help from those resources around us.
Our first and best resource is God. When you face trials and you lack wisdom on what to do, ask God. He will help you know if this is a spiritual battle that you must pray against or possibly something that you will learn from.
But then comes the problem of doubt. You must ask with faith that God will hear, cares for you enough to listen, is present in your situation, and gives you wisdom. Those with no faith don’t ask at all. So we kind of believe that God is there but maybe He really doesn’t give us wisdom. Or maybe we don’t like God’s answer. So then we ask others. And we get many opinions on what to do. Have you ever been overwhelmed by too many options? Then you really can’t tell which way to go. Just like riding the waves up and down.
If you are like me, this is a hard scripture. I can feel a little condemned by being called double-minded just because I tend to think about all the possible approaches to a problem. But I don’t think James wants to condemn us but to warn us and say that there is a better path. One commentary (yes, I did get wisdom from a commentary) said that double-minded means double-souled, wanting to be both for the earth and for heaven. God wants us to trust only Him. But if we want to have it both ways, we will remain double-minded and confused.
So the better path is to walk everything out with God. We need to put our trust in Him. If we get input on our trials from others and it doesn’t align with God’s word, then we must have faith that He has our best interest at heart. We cannot doubt that God is for us and has a purpose and a place for us eternally. That will calm the waves in our lives.
Dear God, continue to build our faith in you. Help us to hear your voice giving us wisdom during our trials. Walk with us today and every day. Thank you for who you are and adopting us into your family of believers.
Author: Brad Dunn