Friday March 25, 2022
Scripture James 1: 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 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. 6 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. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Life Lesson: When we ask God with doubts, questions and concerns overwhelming our hearts and minds we lose sight of the One we are seeking and instead we fix our gaze on the thing that is threatening to destroy us.
– Trials are to our faith as physical training is to our bodies, unfortunately unlike the benefits we understand to be consistent with physical training, our natural responses to trials is to do everything we can to avoid them. Through the process of going through the unwanted trial we are developing the virtue of perseverance. Perseverance is necessary for building a strong character to carry on in the face opposition. This is why James tells us that by persevering through trials we are becoming mature, complete and not lacking anything. Metal that is forged in the fire and that keeps its composition through the blacksmiths mighty blows will prove capable of unbelievable strength compared to untested metal.
– This where the necessity of wisdom must be applied. The natural man despises the trial, resists the process, and forfeits the benefits of the forging process. Because of our natural bent to resist trials, we must seek God for His wisdom. Instead of praying for the removal of the trial, we ought to pray for the wisdom of God to allow His forging process to finish its work in us. We must stop consistently trying to get out of the problem and instead humble ourselves under the mighty Hand of God and trust Him through the process. This is the prayer for wisdom in this context. No, not a, “get me out of this” prayer, but a, “I need your wisdom to persevere through this”, prayer.
– James warns us against doubting when we pray in this context. Why would we doubt? We doubt because the gravity of the trial can be so discouraging, so overwhelming, that we lose faith in the love of God, we lose trust that God is with us, we lose hope that God could cause even this terrible trial to work together for our good, Rom. 8:28! Yes we can allow our trials to cause us to question the Word of God. Let me just say this about that, the Word of God is eternal and it will never fail! Satan has always tried to incite the people of God to question the goodness of God, see Gen. 3: 1, 4. But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved, Heb. 10:39! James’ allusion to the tossing sea is a perfect illustration for us of Peter taking his focus off of Christ because of the wind and the waves and subsequently sinking. Do not be tossed and blown by the raging of the sea! If we are, it is only because we have taken our gaze off of the Author and perfector of our salvation and instead we have focused on the thing that threatens to destroy us!