Ask and Believe

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, January 20, 2019 0 comments

by Logan Ames

Last year, as the debate between our two main political parties regarding border security was heating up in our country, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made a statement that President Trump needed to immediately stop the “inhumane, barbaric policy” of separating family members at the border. She went on to say that ripping vulnerable children away from their parents is “an utter atrocity." Now, I’m not here to comment on either side of that debate, as there are valid points on both sides. But I do find it absolutely hypocritical that someone who supports the right to rip innocent children from their mothers’ wombs would say that taking them away from their parents during a border crisis is an “atrocity."

Since abortion became a constitutionally protected right 46 years ago this Tuesday, there have been almost 61 million children whom God had decided had the right to life but never got to realize that right because someone ripped them out of their mothers’ bodies and discarded them like trash. If the words I am using here disgust you, then I hope you’re motivated to try to do something to stop this tragedy. As the abortion debate rages on in our nation right alongside the border security debate, many who are pro-choice even claim that compassion for women is at the heart of their view. They ignore the damage, often both emotionally and physically, that is done to a woman when she has an abortion. They also seem to not care about the females whose lives are snuffed out in the name of “choice."

In the Bible, James has a word for this type of contradictory thinking: double-minded (James 1:8). If you care about those who are vulnerable and oppressed but support the right to eliminate the most vulnerable and oppressed of children, you literally have two opposite things in your mind. James talks about the condition of having two different mindsets in one mind in the context of addressing how Christians should handle the hardships that come their way. After talking about how trials make us mature and complete, James says, “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” (James 1:5). His order is very intentional. Think about it. When are you and I the most likely to realize that we need help and can’t get by on our own? It’s when circumstances are absolutely horrible!

When we are going through trials, the blessing in disguise is that it makes us humble ourselves and admit that we don’t have all the answers. Trials force us to seek wisdom from God. We might need wisdom to evaluate how the trial came about. Maybe we need wisdom to figure out how we can persevere and find joy in the midst of the hardship. When you’re searching for answers, where do you look? Do you read more books, see more counselors, or search the Internet to see if you can find some sort of direction? I’m not at all suggesting that these cannot be useful tools, but they do not compare to the God that created the universe. The beautiful thing about God is that He welcomes us when we need Him. Hebrews 4:16 reminds us that we can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

James, like the writer of Hebrews, also tells us that we have no reason not to come to God since God gives generously and does not resent us for asking for help, even if we’ve asked many times before. If we are asking God for wisdom that we know comes only from Him, we will receive it. This is another concept echoed two other places in the New Testament by James’ older half-brother. You know him as “Jesus." In Matthew 6:33, He says that if we “seek first his kingdom and righteousness," then we’ll receive all the others things we need. In Matthew 7:7, He says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." When we put all these verses together, it’s clear that God’s M.O. is to give us what we need when we need it, according to His plan for our lives.

Despite all of this, we still struggle to go to Him, and when we do go to Him, we struggle to fully commit to the belief that He is willing and able to meet our needs. That’s why James had to turn his attention to the doubters, which included pretty much everyone in the early Church. In James 1:6-7, he tells us that we must make the choice to believe that God will give us the wisdom needed and choose not to doubt, because if we doubt then we are “like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind,” and should not expect to receive wisdom from God. God is a gentleman and will not force us to trust in Him or believe Him. If we doubt Him, it’s not likely we’ll get what He promises. Charles Spurgeon once preached, “You know, dear friends, that there is a way of praying in which you ask for nothing, and get it."

James finishes this section of his letter with the reference I mentioned at the beginning, saying that those who ask and then doubt are “double-minded and unstable in all they do." The ancient Greek for “double-minded” is dipsuchos, which can be more accurately translated as “double-souled." Living in this way is like having your soul pulled in two opposite directions. Many of us who have doubted God before or after we’ve prayed and attempted to put our faith in Him wouldn’t think that we are in the same company as confused politicians who have contradicting views regarding vulnerable children. But we must understand that James considers asking and doubting a serious hindrance to our faith and overall witness to others.

I don’t know what you are asking God for in your life or what difficulty you have been experiencing. But I do know that no matter what it is, God has wisdom that He wants to give you and He is just waiting to be asked and believed. If you’re going to doubt whether or not He is a good God who can give you what you need, you’re better off not even asking! A wave in the sea has no foundation. It is restless and is controlled by the winds, meaning it has no stability. Yet, it can slam into things and cause great damage. The same is true for anyone who doubts God after asking Him for wisdom and help. That person is restless, controlled by the changing winds of the culture, and has no firm foundation, yet can still do some great damage. If you’re struggling to believe that God can give you what you need, take a look at Mark 9:24. A man who wanted Jesus to heal his son knew that he lacked some faith, but cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief!” He didn’t want to doubt anymore and had enough faith to know he needed more. You too can go to God for anything you need, and when you’re not sure you believe, just repeat those words. Remind God that you do believe, but you know you need help. He loves you and will help you endure anything He puts in front of you. Trust Him!

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