FAITH WORKS PRAYERFULLY

 

James 1:5-8

FAITH WORKS PRAYERFULLY

Faith Works #2

 

God does not leave us defenseless when he allows us to go through trials.  He knows that we need wisdom, and hence, He provides for us a way to have wisdom in trials.  The way to wisdom is through prayer.  Thus we find in James 1:5-8 that FAITH WORKS PRAYERFULLY.

 

In this passage we find:

 

THE CRY FOR WISDOM – Vs. 5

 

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

 

So, what kinds of wisdom do we need during our trials?

 

·        WE NEED THE WISDOM OF PERSPECTIVE

We must be able to analyze the trial as much as God wants us to.  We will not always understand why this trial is occurring. But God can give us the wisdom of perspective which allows us to interpret how the trial is affecting us, our family, our friends, and those around us. Perspective will also help us to see how serious or not so serious the trial is, and what lessons can be learned.

 

During trials we should pray for this wisdom of perspective.

 

·        WE NEED THE WISDOM OF PROCEDURE

What do I do now?

One of my favorite verses is Psalm 32:8 - I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

 

When we don’t know what to do, God will show us.

 

Sometimes when you are seeking for God’s procedure, you are going to find that He will simply lead you to wait. Psalm 27:14

 

Sometimes the only procedure we have is to do nothing.

Other times He will give you a battle plan.

 

·        WE NEED THE WISDOM OF POWER

We need the strength to take action when we realize that there might be unpleasant results.

Many of us have had to decide to discipline our children.  It hurt us almost as much as it did them, but we did for their good.

 

Sometimes in church situations discipline is necessary and we are hesitant because of the pain it will cause.  But when discipline is carried out in God’s power, it can bring great results.

 

There are also times when God will want us to confront somebody individually and we need the power to do so.  Galatians 6:1-2

 

There are going to be other times when we are just going to need the power to remain silent and to endure.

 

Whenever we ask God for wisdom, He will give us strength to do whatever He calls upon us to do.   

Isaiah 41:10

 

We need the wisdom of power.

 

·        WE NEED THE WISDOM OF PEACE

We need to be able to ask God for wisdom and leave the results to Him. When we believe that he is answering our prayers we will have the wisdom of peace. Philippians 4:6-7

 

There is a saying that goes, “Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that you and I can’t handle.”

   

James 1:5 - If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

 

Notice the promise.

If you ask for wisdom God will give it.

It is not a matter up for debate. Any child of God living in fellowship with God can expect a loving Heavenly Father to provide wisdom as it is requested.

 

Notice also how God gives wisdom

He gives it liberally. God is no piker.

God is a liberal giver of wisdom. And He has more resources than anyone to give from!

 

And notice that it says that God upbraideth not.

Sometimes when we help someone out, especially family members, we give them a little lecture with the help. “Well, I’ll help you this time, but don’t you ever let this happen again!”

 

God gives us the wisdom without the lecture.

And if anyone could lecture us about our slowness to learn, our lack of Bible knowledge, or the frequency in which we might ask the same question, it is God.

 

Notice the certainty at the end of this verse. “and it shall be given him.”

 

THE COURAGE OF FAITH

James 1:6 - But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

 

There is a condition to receiving the wisdom that we need in trials, and that condition is that we must exercise the courage of faith.

 

We must believe that God is able to give us wisdom.

Most importantly, we must believe that God will give us wisdom.

Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

No matter what we pray for, whether it is for wisdom or some other thing, we must exercise faith in order to see our prayers answered.

 

THE CONSEQUENCES OF DOUBT

 

If God’s wisdom is so plentiful and liberally given to those who ask, why is it that we do not see more wisdom among Christians?

 

James 1:6-7 - But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. [7] For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

 

The one who is to ask in faith is the same one who is to ask with nothing wavering. That is, one is not to ask for wisdom and then doubt that God is going to answer.

One is not to ask for wisdom and then get impatient.

One is not to ask for wisdom and then do as he or she pleases.

 

There are two consequences mentioned here for those who ask and then doubt.

 

1. They are like the wave of the sea. Whichever way the wind is blowing they are going.  They will be blown in a different direction every time the wind changes.

That’s a terrible way to live, but that is what happens when a person doesn’t put down an anchor of faith.  

 

2. Secondly, when a person doubts, God says that he will not receive wisdom.

How many times have you and I failed to get the wisdom we needed, simply because we asked and then failed to have faith that God would answer? Facing trials is bad enough, although they will perfect us. But if we fail to get wisdom for handling the trials because we doubted, matters become even worse.

 

Watch out for the consequences of doubt.

 

THE CAUSE OF INSTABILITY

 

James 1:8 - A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

 

Now James shares with us the cause of one of the great problems among Christians in this generation.

The problem is instability.

 

The word “double minded” means to be “two souled”.

It means there are two voices inside the individual, and the man is trying to listen to both of them.

He is trying to live for God and for himself at the same time.

He is trying to live for God and please others too.

He is trying to live for God and live in the world at the same time.

 

So what is the solution?

You and I must be totally sold out to God.

Whether it be in asking for wisdom, of doing anything else in the Christian life.

 

Philippians 3:14-15 - I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. [15] Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

 

Matthew 6:24 - No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

 

THE CRY FOR WISDOM

THE WISDOM OF PERSPECTIVE

THE WISDOM OF PROCEDURE

THE WISDOM OF POWER

THE WISDOM OF PEACE

THE COURAGE OF FAITH

THE CONSEQUENCES OF DOUBT

THE CAUSE OF INSTABILITY   

 

 

 

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