Are you in need of wisdom? I know I am. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have the mind of Christ influencing your every decision? What if you could walk by the Spirit’s influence each and every day. Good news: you can!
In his letter to the early church, James makes this phenomenal statement, “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach.” With absolute clarity, James points us to the source of our wisdom; Jesus.
Before we go ahead and see how James develops this truth, let’s ask ourselves an important question: Are we seeking wisdom from someone or something other than Jesus? Can I encourage you? The wisdom that comes from above cannot be found through human or earthly reasoning. Yes, your mind and your ability to reason matter, however the starting-point and substance of your reason, if it is to align with the heart and will of Jesus, must come from above.
Faith vs. Doubt
After giving us this wonderful promise, James makes one thing very clear; we must ask for wisdom in faith without any doubting. Let’s take a detailed look at the antithesis of faith and doubting.
Faith is the confident assurance of things hoped for (Heb. 11). Faith is the unswerving and unwavering assurance of the things promised by God. Notice, when James tells us to ask God for wisdom, he does not say that we might receive what we ask for, he says that we will receive what God has promised to give us. Immediately, our faith in Jesus is put to the test…can we trust that God will actually follow through on His promises? Faith thunders back and boldly declares “Yes!”
On the other hand, James knows very well that there is an enemy to our life of faith – Doubt. In the Greek, the word used for doubt describes a person that is going “back and forth” between two realities. To use the picture given to us by James, doubt is like a wave in the ocean getting tossed “back and forth”. Unlike faith, doubt is unstable, tossed to-and-fro, never stable and never able to grab ahold of the promises of God.
Apart from sin, doubt is the only thing keeping us from enjoying and experiencing the promises of God. Again, with striking clarity, James makes it very clear that a person living in doubt should not expect to receive anything from Jesus. Why? The blessings of God will crush a person in doubt.
One day the truth of God and the riches of His glory are enjoyed and shared with others – and then the next, they are questioned, unrealized, and unable to take a firm root in our lives. Back-and-forth, back-and-forth…until finally, the faith that once tasted so sweet, becomes the source of a struggle that we cannot handle. Many have shipped-wrecked their faith simply due to the existence and tolerance of doubt…
Getting Rid of Doubt
If you find yourself going back and forth between what Jesus has promised and what your experience is telling you, take a few minutes and take a step, place your faith in Jesus and watch as He fulfills His promises. He is good!
Doubt is a synonym of instability…something Jesus has never called us into. We are to be firm, rooted, and built up in Him (Colossians 2:6-8). So, how do we rid ourselves of doubt? In faith, act upon His promises. Ask Him for wisdom and the communion of His Spirit, believing you will receive, and according to His promise in Matthew 7:7, you will receive. Sound too simple? That is the beauty of the Gospel; He has done everything needed to restore us to Him and to enjoy His promises, all we must do is ask…in faith.
Taking ahold of His promises,