Growing up in California, the sand, water, and sky of the beach were commonplace for me. I even met my bride at the beach. If you have any experience with being in the ocean, you know it can be so nice. You also know that the waves can be unpredictable. The forces of wind, gravity and tide can make things treacherous. I’ve had it before where I was lifted up in about 10 feet of water, and dumped onto the seemingly dry sand. It can be like being stuck in a washing machine if the waves are big. Other times however, it can be more soothing. One of my favorite things to do is to go out just past the breaking waves, and jump off the bottom as the waves come in, letting the waves take me up and then slowly let me back down again. But even standing in the ocean pushes folks around.
The question for us today comes from the Book of James (James 1:5-7 AMPC version). Are we the kind of person who gets tossed to shore or gets stuck in the washing machine when we ask God for help? James says we’re not supposed to be like the unpredictable waves of the sea, asking God for help, and then quickly doubting that God will even answer our prayers. Doubt leaves us feeling unsettled and unsteady. The Book of James even calls folks like that double minded. One moment they have faith that God will do something. That He will answer their prayers. The next moment they are uncertain if God could even care for them.
Instead, we need to press into our understanding and knowledge of the truth of God’s Word. God’s desire is that the trials and troubles cause us to rely on and cling to Him. And the good news is that God is absolutely generous and gives wisdom to anyone who asks. God gives wisdom “without reproach,” which means that God is not there waiting to tell you how dumb you are or to make fun of you for being weak. When you ask…He gives.
Let’s not keep asking to get out of trials, being tossed around by the waves. Let’s ask what we can get out of our trials.
Devotions adapted from Pastor Jonathan devotion in The Hill House, Feb 17, 2017