I can remember when I was a little boy and Christmas time was coming near. My mom would remind us that if we did not behave, we would not find anything in our stocking (that was hung near the Christmas tree). We thought that was a major problem, so we would try to behave to ensure that we would get the candy that we had gotten in our stocking every other year. While reading through James, I believe God placed a verse in chapter one that is similar to what my mother told us. “For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord” (James 1:7).
Now … I must tell you … when you are six-years-old, the thought of nothing being in that stocking is a shock to your system. As a grown man, a verse like James 1:7 shocks my system. What is it that would cause God to say something so strong? Well, if you return to the verse just above James 1:7, you will see how important God thinks faith is in a healthy Christian. He warned against doubting (wavering) in James 1:6. God is looking for faith to be demonstrated in His children.
One of the main themes of this book of James is that of the importance of walking by faith. That theme will be expanded upon all throughout the book. Here James tells believers very clearly that if we waver, or doubt instead of exercising faith, we should not expect to find anything in our “stocking.” In other words, if we choose to doubt the promises and the power of God (it is a choice on our part), and we waver instead, James says very clearly, there is no promise of God answering prayer.
When we offered help to our children while they were putting together a Lego project, or with coloring, and they refused; we might have offered another time or two, but eventually we would allow them to flounder on their own. God is no different. He offers us daily, continual help. He has given us a divinely inspired Word of God with all the instructions we will ever need. He has placed His Holy Spirit within every believer to guide us into all truth; to convict us of sin; and to direct our paths … if we will demonstrate faith in Him and His will for our lives. Many of us struggle with doubting God. We would never admit it, but when troubles come (which was the opening theme of this book), we run to others; we try to “fix” things ourselves; we check out solutions on Google; and then finally we turn to God when all else has failed. Today I want to encourage you. God is ready, willing, and supremely able to do far more than we can possibly imagine. Trust Him today and step out by faith!