April 29, 2021 – Thursday
James 1:5-7 NIV
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
The focus for today is on verse six, but we have verses five and seven for context. Also, note that most versions of the Bible for verse six use faith instead of believe. However, there are times when faith and believe or belief are virtually synonymous, and I have faith this is one of those times. I came to this belief when I read the following definition in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon (scroll down here), conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the N. T. of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and conjoined with it.
With that out of the way, let us look at the verse in context. Clearly, we are told if we lack wisdom or just think we lack wisdom, we should ask God for wisdom or more wisdom. No it does not say ask for more wisdom, but it implies such verse five says God gives generously to all. And generously does not mean just enough or exactly what was asked for, but what was asked for – in this case wisdom – will be given liberally. Still not sure? Consider Psalm 23:5 where David writes of God, You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
I remember reading a tract years ago at my brother Paul’s house on Psalm 23:5. It was about a woman in the hospital being treated for cancer. She obviously did not feel blessed, at least not initially. She wrote on how she never really understood the reference to the overflowing cup until she had been in the hospital for some time. She had never really thought people (many people) loved her or cared for her. But in her time at the hospital, she had visitor after visitor time and time again and again. She wrote that she ended up thanking God for making her aware of how loved she was by family and friends, so much so that her cup was literally overflowing.
Now we come to verses six and seven. If you want, really want, this blessing of wisdom or more wisdom, you better be believing, really believing, or it is not going to happen. As verse seven says, if you doubt, that is don’t really believe, you should not expect to receive anything. So pray for wisdom, believe and have faith, and do not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. Be persuaded, convicted. Know in your heart, do not doubt.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Keep the eyes of my heart on You, on Jesus, and on the Holy Spirit. Keep my belief as a rock-solid conviction on how Jesus died for my sins so that I might be able to go to heaven if I would but believe and call upon Him as my Lord and Savior. I believe. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.