Friday, November 23, 2007

Do You Doubt God's Good Intentions?

Yesterday's reading included the famous "wisdom" verse (James 1:5), which I often quote. Re-reading it in context was revealing in light of my feeling that sometimes God does NOT generously grant wisdom when I ask. There is a clue in the context:

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
Ouch, that hurts! Verses 6-8 talk about our mental approach to God as we seek wisdom. We must believe and not doubt that every challenge has a useful purpose in our lives; if we doubt, we show ourselves unstable and unfit.

What, exactly, are we not to doubt? That God has wisdom to give? Not many of us have a problem believing in God's wisdom on a grand, universal scale. No, the challenge is believing that God would focus his attention on me. It is easy to believe God is able to do amazing things, but I often doubt his good intentions toward me.

If you are running up against a brick wall asking for direction, my heart is with you. May God grant you the ability to walk in the conviction that YOU ARE LOVED, personally and individually, by the creator of the universe. His intentions are good. God's heart's desire is to express his love and good intentions toward you in a unique and personal way.

Back up a step and ". . . be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (per Romans 12:2). How can you be transformed? By the power of his word. Speak these truths over your life. Print them, trim them out, look at them a dozen times a day, memorize them. Reprogram and reformat your pattern of thinking by dwelling on these true sayings:

" . . . I know the plans I have for you,"
says the Lord. "They are plans for good
and not for disaster, to give you
a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
God showed
how much he loved us
by having Christ die for us,
even though we were sinful.
Romans 5:8 CEV
. . . he who began
a good work in you
will carry it on to completion
until the day of Christ Jesus.
Phil. 1:6 NIV

Soak your soul in the warmth of God's eternal and true intentions toward you as an individual. If you claim to believe God's word, you must work it into your brain (by repetition and rote memory, if need be) that his intentions toward YOU are good, because YOU are loved. Believe it, or if you are not there yet acknowlege that you DON'T believe it, and ask the Father in Jesus' name for his power to "get it." Ask again for that needed revelation of wisdom. It will be granted!

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