Feeling a bit like life is being squeezed from all sides at the moment. The clocks changed last weekend so the evenings are lighter and there have even been the odd day of nice spring weather. So I want to get out and do more but have too much that has to get done at home and even more that I would rather be doing. Some things that I have to do (that pay the bills) are more frustrating and unfulfilling than usual and other areas where I think God is using me I have no time to devote to.
With this general feeling going on at the moment I happened to read James earlier this week and it’s been running around my head ever since and not really in a helpful way. I’ll paraphrase with my comments, but most of this is from James 1:2-8 New Century Version:
“When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience. Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need.” v2-5
OK, so sounds like to be perfect, complete and have all I need I just need better patience or to at least persevere through the ‘troubles’ – that should be fine. I do hope the next word isn’t a BUT, it could be a THEREFORE followed by DO MORE PRESSUPS or even THEREFORE, EAT CAKE – I could use something tangible to work on in order to know how to persevere through troubles rather than a BUT, I hate when there are BUTs…
v5 “But….” great.
v5″ But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it”
Hold on, that’s not too bad. This I think is probably one of requests I am more consistent about, along the lines of – “I don’t know what to do, give me wisdom for this or that… ” so yes, I can tick that box I do ask God for wisdom all the time. This is a good BUT, this is a BUT I can get my teeth into…
v5 “He is generous and enjoys giving to all people, so he will give you wisdom”
OK, again I’m not so sure how I feel about this. I don’t feel I have much wisdom and certainly still don’t know what to do about the aforementioned ‘this and that’ which I’ve been asking for guidance on for years and years and … you get the idea.
v6-8 “But” -Oh no, another one- “when you ask God, you must believe and not doubt. anyone who doubts is like a wave in the sea, blown up and down by the wind. Such who doubt are thinking two different things at the same time, and they cannot decide about anything they do. They should not think they will receive anything from the Lord.”
There it is. There is always a difficult BUT, the BUT that in this case that says your prayers for wisdom aren’t working because you must believe and not doubt. I don’t think I’m doubting, could even say I doubt I’m doubting but I’m not sure if I doubt I am doubting cancels each other out or leads to doubt squared!
So in summing up, I have problem X that I need to make a decision on. I ask God for wisdom in total belief and without doubt that he will give me the wisdom to make the correct decision – not necessarily that he will give me the answer (tho’ that would be good) but that when I make the decision it will be the correct one. Now all I have to do is wait to see what happens – Oh and at some point I have to act in order to implement the actual decision.
Hmm, I think that makes sense!?