James 1:2-8 NIV
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 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.
It is no fun to go through trials. They pummel and pierce our hearts. They drag down and destroy our plans. They rearrange and reroute our hopes. They could cause doubt in the goodness of God, in his ability to work on our behalf and in his purpose for our lives.
According to James 1:2-8, we can grow and gather wisdom as we trust God during our chaos, our uncertainty and our commotion. Tumultuous times will try to wreck our peace. The journey through those difficult days will give insight into how we rely on God or on ourselves.
James tells us that trials will test our faith and produce perseverance. Perseverance will produce maturity and make us complete thus providing all we need. So we must keep on keeping on even when it’s hard, when we’re misunderstood and when we have done all we knew to do. The persevering comes as we trust God for his help and he transforms our hearts leading us to maturity. The maturity gives us a completeness, a wholeness and a new perspective.
If we feel that we are lacking in wisdom, we are told to ask God then believe that he will help and provide what we need. When we doubt God while asking him for wisdom in our next move, we are compared to a wave being blown by the wind and tossed which leads to not receiving anything from him. The person who doubts is unlike the one who has persevered through a trial. Instead of believing God to help in the middle of the mess, the doubting person feels unstable and lacks an anchor.
When we don’t know what to do about a messy situation in life, it’s important to ask God for wisdom and he’ll use the testing to help us through. Believe God and trust him to provide wisdom on how to manage, how to take the next right step and how to move forward by persevering.
A double minded person in the context of James 1:8 is someone who is waffling between their wisdom and God’s wisdom. They go back and forth keeping their eyes on Jesus for a bit while looking away just in case the answer from God is not what they wanted. Faith forges a path into the unknown. God is doing something that is beyond whatever we could ask or think according to the power, His power, that is working in us. (Ephesians 3:20)
God will use the trial to mature you as you persevere. Keep praying and telling God that you trust him and his purpose even though you can see nothing but confusion in the situation. Expect to receive an answer to your prayer. Look to him instead of focusing on the trial. Trust his promises and his heart for you.
Doubting God will only make a person more distanced from peace. Instead, believe God and his promises. Believe his ways are higher than our ways. Believe that he makes all things new which may mean he won’t make the trial cease but he’ll make you able to walk through it and trust him more and more.
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