October 26, 2018      

James 1:5-6… If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

            This section of scripture was used by faith-preachers who sometimes made millions telling everyday folk that they could have what they wanted in life if they asked without doubting. “Eliminating doubt” became a passion of many. I tried it. As a practice, it landed under the heading… “The power of positive thinking.” That was made popular by a man who wrote a book by that name… Norman Vincent Peale. The book did not honor God, necessarily; it took at piece of truth and made it the gospel. The full teaching was… The power of thinking.

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)… For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he…

            It has been claimed by achievers, “If you doubt you can do something, you can’t.” That is a transliteration of the Bible truth. But, it is an example of the Truth at work. With regard to the verse in question today, James tells us that he was writing about a specific request… wisdom. He was not writing about money or things. Wisdom that is from God is perfect. Never doubt God’s wisdom.

And don’t ask for it in order to better yourself. Often we desire knowledge that others don’t have.

James 4:3… You ask, and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.  

            If you ask for wisdom so that you can ‘win the lottery’, you are wanting to spend it on your passions. Instead, you say, “Lord, help me to think like you think regarding such things.” Jesus did not teach us that we would be better off with more money. That is an expression of the world. We ask without doubting, yes, but we ask in faith. Is your request formed by faith or by passion? This is where the teaching gets convoluted. Is not physical healing a faith-request? It seems to me that it is, but God is greater than our comfort. And for all eternity, we have it! For now, count it all joy when you fall into various trials. (vs.2)