as i have been reading and studying these verses, something new has stuck out to me lately. i have always read these verses to mean, "if you lack wisdom, ask god and don't doubt that he will answer you." i do think that james could mean that. after all, he is quick to remind us that god gives generously to all. but i think the doubting james is talking about is referring to the answer god gives us. when i ask god for some wisdom and he answers, james is saying, "don't doubt the answer that you he gives you."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.(James 1:5-8)
the rest of the verses make more sense when i think about doubting both of these things. if i am having to wait during a trial for god's answer and i start doubting him, then soon i am going to be all over the place, anxiety ridden trying to come up with my own solutions, asking for all kinds of advice, wondering if god can really do something about this.
if i do get an answer and i doubt it, i too am looking to something else to give me the answer and to fix things, when i have already been given the only thing that will fix it. but instead i am going all directions drawn to what seems like the right answer. i think james had to remind us not to doubt because our little finite minds forget that our god works in the supernatural. in ways we cannot see or even imagine.
we forget that our god is the one who made bread appear every morning for the israelites. that he caused walls to fall because people walked around them and blew trumpets. he has caused armies to turn on themselves in confusion because they heard glass jars breaking. or a god who can stop the sun or part the sea.
so don't doubt what ever seemingly crazy idea the lord gives you when ask for wisdom. there is no other way, no matter hard you search for it. you are only causing more anxiety and stress on yourself. you will, as james says, become unstable. claiming that god is all you need, but all the while looking around for something else to fill your need.