Let me introduce you to James.
James, the son of Zebedee, was considered incorruptible by the Jews because he obeyed the laws brought down by Moses better than they. James, along with his brother John and also Peter, were the only disciples to be there when Jairus’s daughter was brought back (Mark 5:35-43), in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46) and at Jesus’s transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-2).
James was called the brother of Jesus(Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3). James was also known as camel-kneed because be believed in the power of prayer. He was frequently found in the temple on his knees praying.
Jesus called James and his brother John, Boanerges, which is Sons of Thunder(Mark 3:17). Jesus called them this because of their boldness – they once offered to call down fire from heaven to destroy a town that would not welcome Jesus(Luke 9:51-56)
King Herrod had James put to death by sword around AD 62.
The book of James was probably written between AD 45-62 and was actually written to the Jewish Christians to help them learn how to live as a Christian. In it James stresses that if you say you’re a Christian, but don’t change your ways what benefit is there for you or to others around you?
James believes, and I believe this is true, that the Spirit and the truth of the Gospel will change your life. When we commit ourselves to Christ, through our faith, the deeds of love and kindness will flow.
James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. and let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:1-4
Depending on what version of the bible you are using the various trials could also be divers temptations or many trials, but in the original Greek the word is poikilos (poy-kee’-los) and it means of uncertain derivation; motley or various in character
Translated it means an act or process that is not in harmony, not conforming.
We are to count it all joy because when we go through a trial, we should give it to God for us to bear. In doing this we lean on Him, get closer to Him and ultimately build a better relationship with the Lord. We build up our faith.
We have joy doing this because we know the love God has for us and we know He will see us through. The trying of our faith builds up not only your faith, but it teaches you how to persevere. It teaches you how to deal with the things that come against us. This building helps us to get closer to the Lord because we learn to depend on Him to help us through.
This is called perfecting (per-fekt-ing). That means to be without flaw. For us it means that we will go through a process of learning our mistakes and others mistakes, how to forgive and how to be forgiven. For us perfectionists is a tough lesson to learn.
In verse 4 it says to do this so we will be complete, lacking in nothing. That is because we learn that God will supply our every need. It includes everything we need in order to fulfill the purpose God has for you – whether it be books, food supplies, internet access or a church which may be in need of love. God will give you the purpose and will also give you the word, tools and supplies you need to fulfill that purpose.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
God will give us the wisdom we need if we just turn and ask Him. He loves it when we lean on Him for things such as this and no matter how “stupid” WE may think our question is, God will love you even more for asking it. He may never give you the wisdom that He had given to Solomon, but He will definitely make sure you have what you need.
Just a thought on this – you should ask for the wisdom you need and not want. Why would you ask for something you don’t need unless it is to fulfill a selfish desire?
The word used in that verse for reproach is oneidizo (on-i-did’-zo). It means to defame, chide, taunt.
God desires to prosper you, not to belittle or defame you and Jesus said ask and it shall be given to you, knock and the door will be opened seek and you will find. That is because when you ask out of need God will supply, we just need to believe.
But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways James 1:6-8
The word wavering in Greek is diakrino (dee-ak-ree’-no) It means to separate thoroughly, to withdraw from, to oppose, discriminate or hesitate.
What the Lord put on my heart about this is that if you do not ask in Faith, you yourself do not believe it is something you need. If you don’t need it, then do not expect it from God. God may give it to you as a blessing, but not to fulfill a need you don’t have. If you doubt that God will give it to you and if he does, then it is by his grace alone that he does. It is His desire for you to believe.
But there are also times when God will hold things from us in order to bring about repentance. If we have asked for something we need and have not received it, we need to ask God for guidance.
Or maybe we just haven’t seen the answer He has given, maybe we were expecting the answer that we wanted and not what God wanted.
The word for double minded is dipsuchos (dip’-soo-khos)
When I looked up this word it said it means two-spirited, vacillating. I had to look up vacillating; it means to sway because you don’t have equilibrium or balance, to waver in mind, will or feeling. So when you are double minded it means you can not stay focused on what you need to, you can’t make up your mind.
That is when you start lacking faith and say why hasn’t God answered my prayer, but if you stay focused on God and stay in His word and truth and walk in His ways, then you will always see the answer God gives you.
Rejoice in hope, patient in tribulation, and continue in prayer (Romans 12:12). Continue in prayer knowing and believing God will fulfill His promise and be patient until the Lord’s time has come.
And when God answers that prayer, make sure to thank Him greatly for his faithfulness and love.