James 1:5 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. 6 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. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
A close friend is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Stripped of resources and paralyzed by incredible burdens, he’s finally returning to a question that he hasn’t asked in a while, “God, what should I do?” I’ve listened to his mental process during the past year and I have noticed that he goes about ‘life’ exactly as I do. That being, he makes most of his own plans and asks God to bless them. Then when troubles arise, he asks for help. His prayers are mostly directed at receiving the wisdom necessary to relieve the trial.
Double mindedness is really just wanting to continue to be the captain of my own ship while keeping God’s favor and resource in reserve.
James seems to be pointing out that trials are inevitable. Wisdom is not the tool to avoid trials but instead the insights that should be exercised while IN the trial. We all want relief, but James has offered something better. A dividend on the prospect of going through trials.
I’ve often said that I don’t ever want anyone to go through what I’ve experienced in the realm of difficulties. But I do know that God was with me in those difficulties. I don’t want to go back and be the person I was before those difficulties came to visit. I’ve learned too much about God’s immense love and goodness. It all came from the insight and dividend of those difficult times.