This week’s sermon is titled “Faith Fortified.” James taught his readers that they lacked the wisdom to navigate the trials they were facing. He wanted them to understand that they needed God’s wisdom to face life’s difficulties especially considering that they were facing persecution for following Jesus.
We can learn from James as we navigate our own modern day trials. Thankfully, for the most part, we do not face the same level of persecution that these people were facing, yet we deal with many difficulties in this life. So, we need God’s wisdom to steer through our own stormy seas. As such, James gives us three guiding principles to obtain the wisdom required to navigate difficult trials:
- Approach the Source (1:5)
- Ask without Doubt (1:6a)
- Acknowledge the Alternative (1:6b–8)
God is the only real source of the wisdom needed to respond in a godly way to the trials of life, and we must approach Him for this wisdom. We must go to Him in prayer and by His word knowing that these are the only true sources for the answers we need to steer through our troubles. James shows that God wants us to confidently and repeatedly come to Him for the answers we desperately require; therefore, we must ask Him in faith without any doubting knowing that He has all the answers.
But, there is a tragic alternative that we must acknowledge—we can become double-minded in our thinking going to God in a way that doesn’t show trust that He has the answers we need. When we do this, we move back and forth between worldly wisdom and godly wisdom and become like a staggering drunk who tragically grabs onto anything, including error, and is in grave danger of hurting himself and others. This type of man ought not expect that He will receive anything from the Lord.
Which type of person are you? Our desire is for you to grow in your relationship with Christ, so that you will confidently seek Him for the answers this life requires.
Questions for growth
When trials come:
- Do you depend completely upon God and His word? Or, do you find yourself seeking after worldly wisdom?
- Do you find that there is a peace in your heart that surpasses all understanding even when your world seems to be falling apart? Or, do you feel an inner turmoil as you move to and fro searching for answers in all the wrong places?
- Are you confident that God will give you all the answers you need even if they are not what you want? Or, are you going to Him in a self-willed way only looking for the answers you want to hear?
- Do you repeatedly petition God for the wisdom you need? Or, do ask once and give up?
- Do you feel yourself staggering around without any stability? Or, are you confident that God will still the stormy seas?