Theology Tuesday: What Makes a Christian Unstable?

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2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 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. 7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:2-8, ESV).

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We as Americans tend to think that the trials are what cause our instability as believers–but that’s not the case. The trials are what test out our faith. God sends the trials to see if Jesus is enough, or whether we believe Jesus is there to keep our lives comfortable and safe. As a result, any trial that comes along is seen a sign of God’s disfavor. We hear this from prosperity preachers on a regular basis.

Yet, trials are how God makes us stable (steadfast); it’s the mechanism by which God brings about our maturity! But what if we struggle in the midst of this? What if, as we are experiencing these trials, we do not know what to do or which way to go?

Ask God for wisdom. The fact that we can ask Him is amazing, but what’s more amazing is that, as we trust and believe Him, we can not only ask but He will give it generously.

So you see, the instability does come in our trials, but in our lack of trust in the One who promises wisdom in the midst of trials. We risk only loving and trusting Jesus when our lives are smooth, but hating him or running from Him when trials come. Thus, the accusation of being double-minded. Thus, the instability.

Trust Christ! When trials comes, He sends them or permits them in order to strengthen us. Look to the cross where the greatest of all trials happened–and how God used that to strengthen and perfect all who follow His Son!

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