James 1:5-8 (Devotional)


If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-8 ESV)

I love the beach. One of my favorite things to do is take my children out into the shallow water, pick up my feet and let the waves gently rock us. That is what waves do. They pick you up and let you down. They go from high to low. I remember one day several years ago my wife and I went to the beach before we had kids and the waves were particularly strong that day. They would knock us down and throw us toward the shore and slowly pull on us back into the water. The force of the wave was powerful. We would wade out into the tide and try and stand against the waves as they would come rushing in toward shore.

The writer, James, warns us that when we ask God for wisdom we are not supposed to be like waves. Waves are never steady. They go from highpoint to low point in just a few moments. A person who is like a wave asks God for wisdom and then immediately doubts that God will even answer their prayer. They are unsteady. James says they are double minded. One moment they have faith that God will answer. The next moment they are uncertain if God could even care for them. James says that God is not like that. God is generous and he gives wisdom to those who ask. God gives wisdom “without reproach,” which means that God is not there waiting to tell you how dumb you are or to make fun of you for being weak. He just simply gives you wisdom… when you ask. Faith in the bible is not blindly believing that something will happen. Faith is trusting God to be exactly who God is and not doubting His character.

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