Posted by: missionventureministries | January 20, 2013

WHEN YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO – James 1:2-8

James 1 vs 2-8

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven 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. (James 1:2-8)

As a Christian what do we do when we do not know what to do?

In his letter to the early Christians James writes to encourage them in their faith during the difficult times they were experiencing. He doesn’t say if you face trials, but whenever you face them. He knows that we will have trials and that it is possible to learn from them. The point is not to pretend to be happy when we face pain, but to have a positive outlook “consider it all joy” because of what trials can produce in our lives. James tells us to turn our hardships into times of learning. Tough times can teach us perseverance, which is also called patience and determination in (Romans 5:3-5; 2 Corinthians 6:3-7; 2 Peter 1:2-9).

We can not really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure. It is easy to be kind to others when everything is going well, but can we continue to be kind when others are treating us unfairly? God wants to make us mature and complete, not to keep us from all pain. Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth. Thank God for promising to be with you in rough times. Ask Him to help you solve your problems or to give you the strength to endure them. Then be patient and have faith because God will not leave you alone with your problems; He will stay close and help you grow.

In verse 5 when James talks about wisdom, he is talking not only about knowledge, but about the ability to make wise decisions in difficult circumstances. Whenever we need wisdom, we can pray to God, and He will generously supply what we need. Christians do not have to grope around in the dark, hoping to stumble upon answers. We can ask for God’s wisdom to guide our decisions.

Wisdom means practical discernment. It begins with respect for God which leads to correct living, and results in increased ability to tell right from wrong.

God is willing to give us the wisdom, but we will be unable to receive it if our goals are self-centered instead of God-centered. To learn God’s will we need to read His Word and ask Him to show us how to obey it and then we must do what He tells us.

To “believe and not doubt” means not only believing in the existence of God, but also believing in His loving care. It includes relying on God and expecting that He will hear and answer when we pray. We must put away our critical attitude when we come to Him. God does not grant every inconsiderate or selfish request and we must have confidence that God will align our desires with His purposes.

A mind that wavers “for the one who doubts” is not completely convinced that God’s way is best. It treats God’s Word like any human advice, and it retains the option to disobey. It vacillates between allegiance to personal feeling, the world’s ideas and God’s commands. If you faith is new, weak, or you are struggling remember that you can trust God and be loyal to Him. To stabilize your wavering or doubtful mind, commit yourself wholeheartedly to God.

If you have ever seen the constant rolling of huge waves at sea, you know how restless they are, being subjected to the forces of wind, gravity and tide. Doubt leaves a person as unsettled as the restless waves. If you want to stop being tossed about, rely on God to show you what is best for you. Ask Him for wisdom, and trust that He will give it to you. Then your decisions will be positive and solid.

Remember that when we ask in faith, the Lord is faithful to answer.

Source: Excerpts taken from the “Life Application Bible”

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