Monday, October 13, 2008

James 1:5-8- Trust and Obey

We must trust God during the trials of life.
A. Often times, it is the trials that help us to remember just how dependent we are upon God for strength and wisdom.
  1. God gives liberally (Greek- generously)
  2. God gives without reproach; in other words, he gives freely based on the grace that He has shown to us, not on favoritism.
  3. James tells us that if we will seek after God and His wisdom, we are promised to receive that wisdom.
B. Not doubting God
  1. Two kinds of doubt:
    • Doubting that the wisdom God gives us is correct
        1. In other words, we believe that we know what God should really be doing, not what He is doing. 
        2. Illustration of this: God is making it perfectly clear to you that you ought to be in preaching, and so you ask for God to give you wisdom in making this decision because you are afraid and do not want to become a preacher. What you might ask is, “Lord, please give me wisdom in finding something other than being a preacher that You would want me to do.” Pathetic illustration? Probably, but I think that example helps us to realize that this is often how we behave in many areas of life.
    • Doubting that God will even give you the wisdom to make the right choice.
        1. If God has promised it, how then can we doubt that He will not give it?
        2. Sometimes, the hardest thing for us to do is to wait upon the Lord. But, God has promised us that if we wait upon Him, “We shall walk and not faint, we shall run and not grow weary (Isaiah 40:31).”
  2. The consequences of doubt:
    •  If you can’t trust God, what or who can you trust?
    • How can you pray to God, when prayer is all about recognizing your dependence (or trust) in Him?
    • It is the waiting for the answer that makes it so we must ask in faith, knowing that God has fulfilled His promises before, and He will always continue to do so.
    • Often when we doubt, even though we do get the wisdom that we asked for, because we have doubted on God giving us the answer, we either have given up and miss knowing the answer to our prayer, or we decide that we don’t care about what God has to say. That is what is meant here when it says, “the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea (NASB)....” Without God as our Solid Rock upon which we can trust, we have nothing to stand on if we doubt Him and don’t listen to what He wants us to do.
    • In verse 8, James flat out says that it is because of that doubt (double-minded man) that we have become unstable if we ask of God without faith in His providing the right answer, in the right time.

      1) Do you trust God to answer your prayers and to give you the wisdom that you need from His Word? Do you truly trust Him to lead you each and every day?
      2) How stable is your walk?

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