One of the absolute necessities to be a Christian is faith. The writer of Hebrews stated, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6). With that being said, just how much faith do we really have? Are we definitively certain that God is, and that He rewards us?
When writing the epistle that shares his name, James addressed the issue of faith. In the context of gaining wisdom, James wrote, “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 him. 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 that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8).
When we pray according to the Lord’s will, we should be confident of His answer. James also wrote, “Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (James 4:13-15). Likewise, John explained, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15). Also, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1 John 3:22).
During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addressed this issue as well. He said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him” (Matt. 7:7-11)?
Have you ever gone to the Father in prayer and asked Him for something against His will? No person should ever expect to receive such requests under that circumstance. You might wonder, how will I know if it is against His will or not? The Bible instructs us in the will of God. When we study the Scriptures we can be educated properly about God’s will.
So, how much faith do we really have? Are we confident in God’s ability and willingness to bless us, or do we doubt? When addressing how men are to pray, Paul mentioned, “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1 Tim. 2:8). We must never allow ourselves to doubt God. He sees. He hears. He cares. Christians should let their faith be so solid that there is “nothing wavering” when they approach God!
~ Corey Barnette