“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).
Life requires wisdom. When we are plagued with problems we need God's wisdom to get through each hardship. When we have decisions that must be made we need His wisdom to guide us. When emotions rage we need His wisdom to keep us from actions which are based on our feelings alone. In these verses James explains we should pray and ask God for wisdom. Not only does He give it, but He is generous with it. We may ask why something happens, but God wants us to understand that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8)—that we can trust His wisdom above our human feelings. If we trust Him and ask Him for the ability to handle our trials He gives spiritual wisdom to deal with them. He directs us in every trial that we face.
In these verses James not only imparts that we should pray for wisdom, but tells us that we should pray trusting and believing that God will provide. If we pray for wisdom and feel we don't receive any it is not because our faith is lacking. Faith is not dependent on feeling. Faith that is as small as a mustard seed is great enough to move mountains. James identifies the problem as being doubtful. A doubtful person is double-minded. A double-minded man grabs hold of “but what if”, and his faith depends on circumstance instead of trust in God's faithfulness. A double minded man is also one who sits on the fence and can't plant his mustard seed of faith in God. His mind has not been brought under the control of Christ. James writes that this man is unstable in all his ways. Why should God grant him wisdom? However, a person who is surrendered to the Lord and believes in God's faithfulness doesn't ask “what if”. He chooses to believe in God's unwavering truth. Instead of being double-minded He is single-minded in his determination to trust God. He is focused on God's faithfulness instead of his circumstance. He knows that without God's help He will fail. When this single-minded person cries for out for faith to believe—when he cries out for wisdom, he receives generously from the Lord. “No matter what I will trust Him” replaces “but what if”. In his cry for wisdom, he surrenders his fears to Jesus Christ and receives greater faith to believe that God will guide him safely through troubled waters.
I pray to always be single-minded, and never doubt God to supply His wisdom to handle ever trial in my life. I don't want to be like a ship tossed on the sea with no anchor to secure my faith. Are you tired of waves buffeting you and sending your mind in all directions? He is your anchor and guide through the storms of life. Bring your thoughts under the control of Christ, and be single-minded to believe in His constant and abiding faithfulness. Fight “but what if”, and learn to believe in “no matter what I will trust Him”. He will generously reward you with His wisdom and greater faith to believe.
(Copyright 2017 Lynn Hampton Lacher)