Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God – who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly – and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind.James 1:5-6
Are you tossed by the wind? The wind is strong and forceful, but you don’t have to let it move you.
Do you know what you believe and why you believe it? Do you have doubt flooding your heart? Maybe you’re not sure what to believe with misinformation and conflicting information constantly presenting itself.
Do you doubt God and His plan for your life? Do you doubt His sovereignty in this world of chaos?
There is a lot of wind right now. Sometimes it feels like a gentle breeze and other times it feels like hurricane force winds. Either way, the question remains: Will you be tossed?
Pick any topic and you’ll find people on either side and you’ll find the people who are easily swayed. Some topics are arguably more important than others and compromising may not be a huge deal depending on what the topic is. There are silly topics like whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza and then there are more serious topics like who to vote for in the election. There is one topic that stands above the rest: your faith.
I was watching a television show the other day in which a character stated the Bible was not meant to be taken literally and that the majority of scripture was metaphorical. They were even so bold as to say that the Bible was inspired by God, but not actually dictated by God. They mentioned the idea of God inspiring the words written, but they did not believe that the actual words were God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). If I did not know what I believe and why I believe it I could easily be tossed by the wind. The inkling sometimes pops into my brain, “I don’t think God actually means…” and that my friend, is a dangerous statement that could lead me down a dangerous path. If I begin to question His Word, it wouldn’t be long and I would be questioning God’s character and my faith in general.
But I do know that scripture is God-breathed. I know it’s true. I know that there are things I don’t understand in the Bible, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It doesn’t mean the whole book or chapter is a metaphor. What it means is that I am human. My understanding may be lacking or skewed, but God’s word never is. If I find something in scripture that I think conflicts with another part of scripture, it’s not the scripture that’s wrong. Instead, it is me and my perspective that is in error. John 17:17 tells us that God’s Word is truth. It does not say bits and pieces are true or that you can feel free to pick and choose what you think is true. God’s Word is truth. All of it. So if you are lacking understanding or wisdom, ask God for understanding and wisdom. He gives wisdom generously!
Back in the days of the New Testament Galatian believers were being deceived. In Galatians 1:6-7 Paul writes, “I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” I’ve experienced times in my life where I was being turned away from truth and I didn’t even realize it, which is why it is vitally important to know what you believe and why you believe it. There are people who will purposefully attempt to sway you and also people with pure intention, but still walking in error.
You say you believe salvation is a free gift and cannot be earned. Why? What if I showed you my good deeds? I’ve never been in trouble with the law, I do community service, I go to church, and I am a good person. Would you be tossed if I told you that by my works I was earning my way to heaven?
You say you believe that God is good. Why? What would you say if I pointed out every flaw, every tragedy, every little thing that didn’t go right? What if I told you God was not good or loving because a good God surely wouldn’t let such awful things happen in the world. Would you be tossed?
I could keep throwing out scenarios, but I won’t. Colossians 2:7 says, “So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to walk in him, being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude.”
If you don’t want to be tossed you must have roots. Think of a big tree that has withstood the wind for many years. Why doesn’t it blow over? It is deeply rooted. We must be like the tree planted by the river of water. Our roots must run deep to the source of living water: Jesus. Read your Bible. Get to know your God. Get to know your Savior. It is okay if you don’t understand everything. “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you.” 1 John 2:27a.The Holy Spirit will teach you. Don’t stress it. I’ve also learned that I can read a verse a bunch of times, but then one day it just hits different. Be patient with yourself. Show yourself grace. You don’t need to understand it all right at first, I mean, there is still stuff in the Bible that is way over my head and I’ve been a Christian for the majority of my life. Don’t let it discourage you. Ask God for wisdom and understanding. Keep digging your roots in a little deeper day by day.
Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.Hebrews 10:23
The tree that is deeply rooted is not afraid to stand tall. When the wind comes with a vengeance the tree whose roots run deep will not be plucked out of the earth. The tree that is deeply rooted is unashamed to stand tall. Are you like the tree, deeply rooted in the truth of God’s Word?
Don’t be afraid to stand in your convictions. Don’t be ashamed of your stance on the immutable truth of God’s Word.
This does not mean getting into heated debates and arguments with those who believe differently than you or are in error. Ephesians 4:15 says, “But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head—Christ.” We are to speak the truth in love; not in anger or self-righteousness. The Bible also tells us to be gentle in correcting others. I know from personal experience when someone is harsh or rude in their correction towards me it often turns me off from actually listening to them and taking to heart what they are saying. In the quest to stand tall it is also important to have a teachable spirit. You don’t know it all and I most definitely don’t know it all either. So inevitably the time will come when I am the one who has misunderstood God’s Word or am the one who is in error. But it is so vitally important to go back to scripture. If someone tells you something, don’t believe them just because they’ve been a Christian longer than you have. Go back to God’s Word. Does it line up? If you’re not sure then ask God for wisdom.
I pray that you would help me to dig my roots in deep to You and Your Word. I pray that you would help to discern what is true and what is false. Help me to bravely stand unashamed in my convictions. Lord, help me to grow in every way so that I may be more like Christ. I pray that you will help me to be gentle when expressing my stand, but I also pray you will give me a teachable spirit. God, help me to stand firmly in the truth of Your Word so that when the wind inevitably comes I will not be tossed.
In Jesus’ Name,
Valerie loves going on adventures, spending time in nature, and getting lost in the wonders of God’s creation. She works in the 6th grade resource room at the local middle school, co-runs a faith-based youth mentoring program, and is actively involved in Bible camp ministry. Valerie loves mentoring other women, teens and children. She has an obsession with pens and stocking up on beautiful journals. Valerie’s greatest joy is sharing Jesus with others. Her greatest desire is to know Him more deeply and make Him known. You can find her on Instagram @valerieeejayyy