Devotional: ‘Searching for the Answers to Life’s Problems’

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“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. 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. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:5-8 )

There are many who believe that we should never ask God the question ‘why.’ I agree that it is incorrect to question God if our questioning is somehow an insinuation that He is wrong. But if we are honestly seeking to understand more about what He is doing and why He is doing it, and if our questioning will help us to become wiser in our walk with Him, then I believe that it is good to ask God why.

In considering today’s passage of scripture, we must keep it in context of how it was originally written. “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4) The wisdom James is referring to is a deeper understanding of why God is allowing some form of trouble to come into our lives, and what He wants us to learn from it. Perhaps, rather than asking ‘why’ all the time, we should learn to ask ‘what.’ “What is it that You want me to learn from this?”

James then tells us that when we ask God for such wisdom, we must believe that He will give us an answer, and we must receive His answer as being best.

“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. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

If God gives us an answer to our question, but we refuse to receive it, we are no better off than we were before. Perhaps we are in a worse condition. Now that we have some insight into the reason for our problems, we have to choose whether we will allow God to be God, or whether we will try to maintain the control ourselves. James tells us that if we doubt, we will be like a wave blown and tossed about upon the sea. We will be a double-minded man, which means we will always be unsure and insecure. We will also be unstable. We will take three steps forward and two steps backward, or even worse, two steps forward and three steps backward.

James tells us that whenever trouble comes our way, we should surrender our lives to God and allow Him to have His way. We should rejoice in knowing that He loves us and that He has a perfect plan for our lives. We should walk by faith and not by sight, and we should be confident that the eternal God is our refuge and underneath are His everlasting arms.

Will it be easy? Probably not. At times, we may be tempted to doubt and turn back. But if we will put our faith in God and keep it there – He will see us through. “For if I’d never had a problem, I wouldn’t know God could solve them, I’d never know what faith in God could do.”

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