walk in the word
5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6But 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. 7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. —James 1:5-8
You are not at the mercy of every doubt that comes to your mind. Like the waves of the sea, doubts will come. However, you do not have to let them undermine your faith. Doubts can actually drive you back to God’s promises, rather than cause you to back away from Him. The key is taking your questions directly to the Lord—then He can increase your faith.
Here are two definitions to help you identify doubt and respond to it with faith:
James, familiar with sailing on ships that were at the mercy of the winds and waves, described doubt in those terms: “The one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” What do winds do? Winds make the sea unstable. Waves move back and forth in a constant state of disruption. What wind does to water is what doubt can do to faith.
James 1:6 says we should pray with faith—“with no doubting.” He has just told us that “trials” and “testing” are God’s preferred method of training us into maturity (vv.2-4) and he lets us know we’re going to need wisdom in order to exercise joy as the training unfolds. We’re going to have to ask for it, expect it, and rely on it. If we don’t get God’s wisdom, we will end up “double-minded [and] unstable in all [our] ways.”
So, ask God for wisdom. Ask with the humble faith of the man who said to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief,” (Mark 9:24) and step forward with joy and the promised presence of God.
Lord, I thank You for the promise of wisdom if I will ask in faith. Thank You for encouraging me not to second-guess You. As I choose to face the trials of life with joy, remind me that I’m not relying on my wisdom, but Yours. Guide me as I walk by faith, not by sight, trusting You in all things. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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