We all experience variation in the strength of our faith. If all is well, we feel confident that the Lord is trustworthy, because we see His blessings all around us. But when troubles increase, so do our doubts about God’s faithfulness. We start to wonder whether He will ever answer our prayers for deliverance. As hard as we try, we can’t see Him working in the situation. And as our trials drag on, we begin to lose hope in God and may start looking for more reasonable ways to resolve the matter ourselves.
James points us to a different perspective. Instead of thinking that the Lord has forgotten about us, he reminds us of God’s divine purposes for our hardships. They test our faith in order to produce endurance and maturity. Our Father isn’t trying to break us; rather, He wants to grow us and provide what is lacking in our spiritual life.
What we really need in our trials is wisdom, and that is exactly what James 1:5 tells us to request from Him. Instead of focusing on the circumstances and letting feelings overcome our faith, we must shift our thoughts to the Lord and confidently believe He’ll give us the wisdom we need, both to handle the situation and to grow from it.
Giving in to doubts is dangerous, as it could develop into a lifestyle of spiritual uncertainty in which we’re “driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6). When we handle our misgivings in this way, we’ll often make wrong decisions that are costly. How much better it would be to anchor ourselves to the Lord and His Word and ride out the storm in peaceful assurance.