Faith required for wisdom
Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. James 1:6b-8 NLT
Doubting God when we are going through trials in life will not be helpful. This is what James is telling the believers from the text. When we are wavering in our faith our loyalty gets divided. We become unsettled that our sense of direction gets affected. James, by using a metaphor of a seafarer being tossed by the wave of the sea drives home the point. The boat gets tossed in several directions and the time of travel gets affected for there is no regular pattern where the boat is navigating. The result, “Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do” (James 1:8). This image depicted by James is what many Christians are dealing with in our times. Because of the difficulties and trials in life, instead of focusing their faith in God, they are faltering between God and the world. When we are unstable in our faith in God, James says to such people, “should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:7). They will not receive wisdom that can only be obtained by fully trusting God. And the lack of wisdom will not be helpful in times of trials. Instead of persevering that will lead to spiritual maturity, such believer will regress in their spiritual growth. The writer of Hebrews emphasized the requirement of having faith that will result in God responding to our requests. “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). We must totally believe in Him and trust Him that He alone knows what is best for our lives and knows how we can be victorious dealing with the challenges in life. God is not insisting that our faith should be perfect. All He asks from us is that when we have doubts especially when we are struggling dealing with trials and difficulties, instead of running away from Him, He wants us to come to Him and by faith ask for His help. When a father came to Jesus recognizing that He alone can heal his son, though he wants to fully believe, yet within he has some doubts. But instead of hesitating, he still went to Jesus and ask His help not only for the healing of his son but also for himself overcoming his unbelief. “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).