Posted by: thaishin | January 20, 2017

Does having doubt makes one ineligible to acquire godly wisdom?

Passage to be considered:

James 1

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  -kjv

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  -niv

Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  -hcsb

Question:

James 1 seems to say that in order to acquire godly wisdom, one must ask for it from God while not doubting but who does not carry around at least a bit of doubt in their heart? Does having doubt makes one ineligible to acquire godly wisdom?

Answer from Dr Michael Rydelnik on openline moody radio on Jan 14, 2017:

Actually when you look at this verse, it’s verse 5, James 1:5. Let’s put it in context: this whole chapter is about trial and testing. It says consider it great joy when you encounter various trials, then when you lack wisdom … what does the word wisdom means? The best translation or understanding of the word wisdom is skillful living and so it’s really saying if you are going through a trial, I know you should also rejoice but what should you also do? You should ask God to deal with that trial. It’s not just general wisdom in life, it’s talking speficially of the wisdom in dealing with trials. Does that make sense? So,  it should be asked with faith, unwavering … you don’t want to be doubter. Here’s one of the thing that I just want to caution people about the scriptures. The scriptures often are aspirational, in a sense that this ought to be our goal, this is what we want to be the most like, it does not mean that if we are not perfectly like that, then God will just say … sorry … you don’t measure up, because there’s only one person that can ask in faith without wavering and that’s the Lord Jesus himself. I think what’s it saying is what we need to do is to keep our focus on him, really we should intentionally  try our best to trust him through trials, and ask God for  the skill to face those trials from Him and skillful living and that He will answer us. I think it’s a mistake to say that there is this perfect target and if we miss it, God won’t answer us. Rather, we have to aspire to have confidence. The way I ask in faith is like the man who says to the Lord Jesus, ” Lord, help me in my own unbelief” and I think God really appreciates that kind of attitude where we recognize our own weakness as human beings. I want to say to people when you read the scriptures, lighten up, God is easy to please, He longs for us to trust Him. It’s not like He’s getting to slap our back, that’s not like the kind of God that He is. Tozer wrote an article, an essay called “God is easy to please” and it’s really affected me. God always looks at us with kindly good intentions, not with a harsh demand. Isn’t that a better picture of God?

 

 

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