Unwavering Faith

Remember the wishy-washy faith described by James in chapter 1, verses 6 to 8? "But, 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. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

If you ask for wisdom, believe that wisdom is exactly what the Lord will give you.

At the end of his little letter, James returns to the theme of unwavering faith, this time in the context of other issues that plague our daily lives.

"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will rise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray from each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" —James 5:13-16.

James then cites the example of Elijah who prayed and not one drop of rain fell on the land for over three years. And just in case anyone thought it was a fluke, when Elijah prayed for rain, it fell.

I look at the passage from James and realize once again the importance of the body, the church, in the process of healing and forgiveness. I see again that need to pray with unwavering faith.

That kind of faith is a daily struggle. In the face of human impossibilities, unwavering faith eludes me at times. I can only say with that father of old: "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief." And we know what Jesus did for that man, don't we. I guess even recognizing and confessing the weakness of our faith, is a gesture of faith—one to which God responds.

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