I do have faith, but I worry still!
Have you ever prayed for God’s wisdom or direction knowing that God has the power and ability to take care of the situation and provide you with the wisdom and guidance needed, but you hang on to the worries and fears? Have you ever had doubts that issues will not be resolved and all will be well in the end although you have prayed about it? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, you are not alone, and it verifies you belong to the human race.
This week we are going to focus on how we can ask God for wisdom, and how we can trust Him in complete faith to carry us and take care of the situations we face as well as giving us the wisdom in how to handle situations appropriately. Each day we will dig a bit deeper into the scripture and our personal thoughts and figure out the why it may be difficult to let go of our struggles and how we can have complete faith without worries over even the most serious situations we are facing. I encourage you to continue in your journal your thoughts and what you gain from the scripture each day as you are processing and unfolding how to have complete trust and faith in God no matter what the circumstance.
Sunday: Read James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Considering the struggles you listed in your journal last week or possibly new ones that are pressing on your mind as you begin this week, do you tend try to rationalize and take care of things for yourself? Are you an independent person who is accustomed to taking control of things and fixing situations? Have you thought of how much easier life would be if you ask for God’s wisdom in all situations? According to the scripture, God promises to provide the wisdom needed if we will only ask it of Him. Today begin your prayer time recording in your journal answers to these specific questions. The first step in asking for God’s help and wisdom begins with acknowledging that you need His help and you struggle with receiving and accepting His help. Also ask God to give you the ability to accept His wisdom because it may be in complete contrast with your idea of the correct or perfect solution. Keep in mind this week that God must conform our will to His will and it may be difficult and take a little more time and prayer for us to get completely in alignment with Him.
Monday: Focus on James 1:5-6a “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…” If you thought yesterday’s devotion time was difficult, wait till you tackle today’s devotion. In fact, we will spend two days focusing on today’s thought. God promises to give wisdom generously to all who ask of it from Him. That is very encouraging. That means He wants us to have His wisdom and answers to life’s issues. Have you ever prayed and just could not get a clear direction from the Lord? Are you possibly there right now? Do you have complete faith? Although the correct answer is “Yes, I have faith.” Dig deeper into that question. Move beyond the surface into the deep meaning and the thoughts within your mind as you pray thinking you are praying in complete faith. Do you ever doubt that things will not work out in the issues at hand? What causes you doubt? Do you need to ask God to forgive you for that attitude and ask Him to remove it from you? In your journal today record your thoughts on those questions. Be honest. Remember this journal is between you and God.
Tuesday: Focus on James 1:5-6a “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…” Yesterday you dealt with the possibility of doubt you sometimes have when you ask God for wisdom and guidance in situations. You probably realized moments when doubts have arisen in your mind while or after praying over certain issues. Today, let’s focus a little deeper on the doubting. If you have prayed and given Him situations, and you have acknowledged that He has the power to take care of these situations, you should be okay. Correct? Consider this question before answering that question. Do you ever go back to situations for which you have prayed and begin worrying over them? Do you ever find yourself losing sleep, not eating or overeating, or becoming so stressed in your mind that you are struggling to function? If so, you are still doubting that God has the ability to take care of the situations. Any time you worry after giving it to Him, you are basically saying you do not have enough faith and trust in His abilities, and you are taking the control back from Him. Do you need to stop right here and record those thoughts in your journal and ask God to forgive you of this? Spend today acknowledging this concept and asking God to help you overcome this. Ask Him for the ability to completely trust Him in faith and release your worry and stress over situations. Remember, “God gives generously to all who ask in faith without doubting” (my version). He will even give you the wisdom in how to let go of your worrying!
Wednesday: Focus on James 1:6-7 “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” Today, pray that God will give you the ability to be strong in your faith as opposed to the one who struggles with doubt and worry. The scripture says that person is “like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” God desires that we be strong and steadfast completely in our faith. Sometimes to strengthen our faith in this way, He allows us to experience events that will test our faith. Those are not fun times, but remember, He will give us exactly what we need to grow stronger in our faith. He sometimes has to weed out the garden within us. Reflect on times when you felt as though you were being tossed about like a wave in the ocean because of your lack of faith. Record those times in your journal and ask God to strengthen you in the current sea of distress and develop are strong anchor within you, so you will not be tossed back and forth from faith to doubt. You want to remain steadfast in your faith, and therefore, have no need to worry and fret knowing it all rests in God’s hands.
Thursday: Focus on James 1: 6-7 “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;” Go back over your journal from Wednesday. Did you acknowledge times of being like a wave in the ocean? Today think about what verse 7 says in regards to that kind of person. What does it say? “For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;” Now, do you understand why your prayers may have gone unanswered in the past? According to this passage, we don’t even have the right to expect the Lord to take care of our situations. This is very serious to God. However, He does understand that we struggle in this area because of our human nature; however, we do not have to remain in that state of struggling. In your journal today, praise God for helping you to fully understand this concept. Also record any struggles in this area that you may still have and ask God to guide you through them and remove the struggle of worry and doubt. Also acknowledge that worry and doubt is a sin, and God cannot work in the midst of sin.
Friday: Focus on James 1: 6-7 “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” Today there is one more point to drive home regarding our faith and doubting issues. That point is how God sees us when we do that. He considers us to be double-minded and unstable. A double-minded person tends to agree with whomever he is talking at the moment. Sometimes he appears as a people pleaser, or one who is inconsistent with his beliefs. Today make sure that you have completely dealt with your issues so that you do not appear to God as double-minded and unstable. Ask God to reveal to you areas in which you are not aware of still being in this state. Then, record in your journal any and all areas that God brings to your mind.
Saturday: Today read James 1:5-8 and give God praise for the changes He has made this week and will continue to make in your life as you release your struggles and stressful situations to Him. Pray that He will enable you to daily check your heart and attitude and have the ability to relinquish all doubts and worries as they arise. Praise Him for the strengthened faith He is establishing within you. In your journal today list the praises of the work you see God doing in your life in these areas.
As always...I am praying for you....