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. 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. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
If you’re anything like me, you are drawn to wise people who speak with authority, while not talking down to you. James is like that.
James, one of two brothers of Jesus who got his own book in the Bible (the other was Jude), who wrote to fellow believers in words that make you sit up and pay attention. He didn’t mince words, and I respect that.
A Good Read
Over the years, I’ve recommended to a number of friends and family the book of James. For each person, it was for a different reason, but it fits so many situations. James’ frank words can benefit everyone.
In these verses, James says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God…”
Although James was likely talking about Spiritual wisdom, everyday wisdom is also a gift of God, and James is correct to say, “when you ask, you must believe and not doubt…”
God’s Word is so certain, that even when it speaks of future events, sometimes it’s written in the past tense, because it’s as good as done, anyway. Seriously. Good as done.
So… Ask Away!
Several years ago, I found myself lying face-down on our kitchen floor (not a requirement, by any means!), asking for wisdom from “God, who gives generously to all without finding fault.”
I had a challenge that I couldn’t deal with on my own, so I asked. And I received.
You see, on the one hand, it was summertime, and I was teaching the 5th-grade class at Vacation Bible School (VBS). Every day that week, I needed to be prepared for the lesson, ready for their questions, and willing to sing – with hand-motions, with enthusiasm, with my whole heart. Undivided.
Yet, on the other hand, I had a looming financial matter that needed even more wisdom than I required for VBS.
I had no room for doubt, or double-mindedness.
I Made A Deal With Myself
While I prepared for Vacation Bible School, and while I was at the church for VBS, I would not entertain even one thought about the other matter.
Then, once I got home each day, I kept an appointment with myself to concentrate on my problem, for a finite period of time – until it was time to read ahead for the next day’s VBS lesson. (I’m telling you, those kids were sharp!)
So, God gave me the courage to make the necessary phone calls, the stamina to wait (and wait and wait) on hold, the grace to remain calm and pleasant, and the wisdom to deal with the problem head-on.
I had peace that God would get me through, and I didn’t feel torn in a dozen different directions.
One Thing At A Time
Making an appointment with yourself to deal with something that you just cannot handle “right now,” might be worth trying. Perhaps even wise. Give yourself permission to “worry about that later” and then actually make time to take care of it. Later.
The wise thing to do, would be to ask God, in faith, for wisdom.
I didn’t sweep my problem under the rug, I just postponed dealing with it, until I had the time and the presence of mind to figure it out.
In my case, it was simply waiting until after the hours of Vacation Bible School each day. (Priorities, my friend.)
Do you need wisdom? Who doesn’t? Take James’ advice to heart, and, believing He will answer, ask God.
Next, we’ll take another glimpse into the Book of James, and see why we might take pride in our high position — disguised as humble circumstances. Stay tuned.
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