Brad Libolt speaking on James 1:5-8. In these three verses we learn about God the giver, our doubt, and the need for a solid foundation in Christ. Our doubt can shake our foundation and that is why we need to preach the gospel to ourselves everyday.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
- Who is James talking to? Anyone who lacks wisdom. Do you lack wisdom?
- I know I do! When I am faced with some kind of decision or difficult task, one of the first things I pray to God for is wisdom. I need it, because I don’t have it.
- But, thankfully, even in our lack of wisdom, God provides an answer. And that answer is to give.
- God is a giving god, one who gives generously and without reproach. To give without reproach means to give without complaint, insult, or mockery.
- Instead, God gives out of love. He gives out of kindness, grace, mercy and compassion.
- When we are lacking wisdom God gives, and when we were lacking salvation God gave.
- God’s answer to our problems is to give. In response to our sin, he gave us Jesus. In response to our lacking, whether that be in wisdom, identity, purpose, joy, etc. he gives us what we need.
- So, when we are lacking wisdom, remember that God is a giving God. He gave us Jesus, and we didn’t even ask. How much more will he give when we realize what we are lacking and ask him to fill our need.
“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.”
- There’s a condition though. We must ask in faith, with no doubting. We must have faith that God is the giver of wisdom, and that faith must come from the gospel.
- If we believe God is the giver of salvation and eternal life, than how much easier would it be for him to give something like wisdom?
- A person who doubts is like a wave driven and tossed by the wind. Think about a wave in the ocean, with no purpose or direction, just being thrown around by whatever force happens to touch it.
- When we doubt Jesus, and when we doubt our identity, we can get swayed in a lot of different ways. When hard times come, we turn away from Jesus and what the gospel says.
- If we are firm in our faith and confident in what we believe, then when winds come, we won’t move because of our faith and foundation that is in Jesus and the gospel.
- So how do we get to this point? Because I know there are times in my life that I have doubted who God is.
- It all comes back to the gospel. We should remind ourselves each day who God is, who we are, and what God has done for us. The more we preach the gospel to ourselves, the more our confidence will grow, and this is because there is power in the gospel.
- The gospel is the foundation of our faith. At some point in our lives we have heard the gospel, and we chose to have faith in Jesus Christ.
- If that is what began our faith, then it also has the power to grow and strengthen it.
- Not only does the gospel have the power to create faith, but it is the means by which our faith is strengthened.
- Our faith strengthens and grows when we preach the gospel to ourselves daily, and remember what God has done for us. When we strengthen our faith, it becomes immovable and unshakable
“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.”
- So what does this mean for the times when we do doubt? We have to remember that God is a forgiving God. He loves us with such grace. Even when we sin or even in times of our denial, He forgives.
- Nothing can separate us from the love of God, including doubt. It’s normal to doubt. But, if we are constantly doubting, questioning whether God exists, and if what the Bible says is true, then I would question if you ever really had faith. If that is you, it’s okay God is still working.
- When we truly experience the power of the gospel and truly believe in what Jesus did for us on the cross, it completely changes our life. It takes over everything in our life, and reorients it towards God. That includes our faith.
- If you are in a place of constant doubt, you’re not really sure if what you’ve heard about Jesus is true, then life might feel pretty unstable. You might say one thing but believe another.
- If that is you, then please talk to me or one of your table leaders. We want you guys to have faith that is unshakable and immovable. We want your lives and your faith to be stable.
- When we are lacking peace, joy, guidance, love, remind yourselves that God is the giver. Remember that God gave up everything so that we could lack nothing.
- If you know what you believe, and know your faith is growing daily but still have doubts every once and a while, it’s okay. God loves you. He loved Thomas even in his doubt. Continue to remind yourself of the Gospel. Continue to remind yourself what God did for you by sending Jesus to die on the cross in your place for your sins.
- Remember that he rose again, conquering sin and death, and offering you and me eternal life with our Creator. Remember why you ever had faith in the first place, preach the gospel to yourself daily, and let that grow and strengthen your faith every day.