Ask God for wisdom to overcome temptation. These next verses are a continuance of James 1: 1 – 4 (See Patience Develops Endurance under the category Walk in Power).
How we handle the trials in our life is in direct proportion to our strength and maturity as a Christian. If everything is always wonderful, there is no opportunity for growth.
James 1: 5
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 to him.
wisdom (sophia – pronounced sof-ee-ah)
either worldly or spiritual
ask (aiteo – pronounced ahee-teh-o)
desire, crave, require, call for
liberally (haplos – pronounced hap-loce)
upbraideth (oneidizo – pronounced on-i-did-zo)
to defame, rail at, chide, taunt, revile
As a Christian, God desires to give you the wisdom to overcome temptation in your life, but you must desire it. Ask in the above verse means to crave intensely. When you truly desire to overcome sin, you can have a bountiful supply of wisdom to keep you walking on the right path.
The Father also will show you his great love and mercy because he won’t rail at, chide, or taunt you if you have failed. He just wants to help you defeat Satan. The words “upbraideth not” have such a wonderful meaning here. God wants to give you everything you need in order to live a victorious life in Him, and He always desires the best for you.
James 1: 6 – 7
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 he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
faith (pistis – pronounced pis-tis)
persuasion, conviction, assurance
wavering (diakrino – pronounced dee-ak-ree-no)
to separate thoroughly, withdraw from, oppose, discern
The Christian is to crave and desire wisdom from above. The next step, then, is a strong conviction to believe that God is at that moment giving everything that is needed for discernment.
To waver means that you don’t think He is capable of doing what He says in His Word. He has already spoken the truth, so when you don’t believe, you are just tossed about from one opinion to the other, not knowing what is right. You must determine in your heart to believe His truth and not worry about other opinions.
James 1: 8
A doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways.
doubleminded (dipsuchos – pronounced dip-soo-khos)
two-spirited, vacillating in opinion or purpose
unstable (akatastatos – pronounced ak-at-as-tat-os
ways (hodos – pronounced hod-os)
a road, implying progress (the route, act, or distance), a mode or means
When you change your opinion repeatedly, you cannot have a strong faith. It is like walking down a road and taking 3 steps backward for every 5 you take forward. You might make some small progress, but it is not really enough to say that you have had any victory.
The only way to victory is to believe the truth, and make up your mind to follow it; then don’t let yourself be swayed by anything else that might get you off track.