"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."
Asking God for things is second nature to us. When we lose something & we're frantically searching for it we mutter under our breaths something along the lines of: "Dear Lord, help me find this." Or, when we're driving & we ask God to help us get to work on time or not to skid on the wet streets.
But, do we ask God for these things out of habit without putting any faith behind it? Do we just ask him because we know it's what we should do as Christians? Or do we really believe that he can do what we ask of him?
James gives us a good reminder that faith is required. He says the doubting person is unstable--someone who often changes his mind & only brings God into his life when he needs something. We need to have the faith of Abraham:
"By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise...By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said 'through Isaac shall your offspring be named.' He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back."
(Hebrews 11:8-9; 17-19)
Abraham didn't know what God had in mind, but he obeyed--having faith that God would take care of him.
God can do anything, but we have to believe that he can.
from Pasadena with love (& fun with Courtney at the hospital),