Review: God knows our inadequacies; therefore, we are exhorted to ask NOT for a solution to our problems, NOT for the removal of trials, BUT to ask for wisdom IN the midst of trials. This emphasizes our need to be dependent upon God on a moment to moment basis, and the provision of wisdom by our God who is generous!
Focus: James 1:6-8
- The necessity of faith— “But let him ask [for wisdom] IN FAITH.”
- Heb 11:6- “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek him.” FAITH = “a conviction of the truth.” In Scripture, this is a conviction that pertains to a specific object—that is, Christ through whom all things were made, who was sent by God to be the Savior of the world. Thus, this faith referred to “is the believer’s unwavering confidence based on who God is and what He has done, according to the Scriptures.”
- Knowing, then, that God does what He says, we trust and obey Him, for He is trustworthy, for He is all wise, for He is Almighty.
2) The ramifications of doubt— “But let him ask [for wisdom]…, with NO DOUBTing” (1:6). This word “doubt” is not here used to be a contrast to faith, but to drive a point. The “doubt” here does not refer to “unbelief” but to a condition of hesitation— that is, “a condition of having two separate and conflicting ideas.” Recall Elijah in 1 Ki. 18 where there is a contest held at Mt. Carmel. Elijah said to the people, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.”
- “the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” This picture is used 2x only in the N.T. – here in James 1:6 and in Luke 8:24 where the disciples became afraid because of the “raging waves.”
- The uncertain, wavering, unstable, double-minded person “must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord”
Reflection: How are you? Are you limping or hesitating between two opinions?
If you are still wavering, now is time to choose. “If the LORD is God, follow Him.”
If Christ be your Savior and LORD, then you must be of good courage, for you stand on solid ground! May this song be a reminder of the kind of Saviour that genuine believers serve and follow. Indeed, every genuine believer can sing, “He Will Hold Me Fast.”
Listen to the sermon here.