Small worries often overtake us. As students, we worry about exams, as employees, we worry about job concerns, as parents, we worry about kids, as adults, we worry about aging parents. The list goes on. How should we live our lives? What decisions do we make? Are we making them from faith?
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. 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. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
The wisdom James is speaking of here is not a wisdom rooted in vast amounts of knowledge, it is rather, wisdom for how to manage daily living concerns. God is able to give to anyone such wisdom, but as Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 9:10 teach us, fear of God is the beginning of such wisdom. The verse says to ask God, but can we ask if we do not view Him as able to fulfill our request? This is the essence of this verse.
First, fear God. He is all knowing, all powerful, and all just. What is not to fear? Such is the catalyst that sends us into His arms broken over ourselves. God will give it to us under such conditions.
Once you fear God, you must have faith that He will fulfill His promises. Remember that His promises are two-fold: Damnation for those not keeping in faith of Jesus Christ, and Salvation for those in obedience to Him. All will have a resurrection, but only the chosen ones of His will have it unto life, the rest unto death. Matthew 25:31-46 is clear about this. Have faith that He will see you through any struggle.
To doubt means that you waver between believing God will see you through and wanting to do something about the situation on your own. It is like you draw a line on a floor and if that problem stays on the other side of that line, all is good and you ‘trust in God’, but if that problem crosses that line, it is time to do something about it because you don’t trust God will help you. God will fulfill your request for wisdom if you erase that line and trust in Him alone. Any other way and you move to and fro with the surging stressful wind of our day. Such a person who draws that line is a hypocrite. He wants the world’s pleasures in one hand as he reaches up to God for help with the other. He is like a man walking a tightrope with a net below him to catch himself if he falls. God asks you to take away the net, because its presence is the evidence that you do not have faith in Him who promised to fulfill your request.
Fear the Lord, keep His commandments, and don’t let the stress of life toss you to and fro over the landscape of sin.