James 1:6
But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
A Royal WavererJames 1:6
Doubts NeutraliseG. F. Deems, D. D.James 1:6
Faith in PrayerD. Clarkson, B. D.James 1:6
Faith Necessary to Successful PrayerNew Cyclopaedia of IllustrationsJames 1:6
How Must We Pray in FaithThos. White, LL. B.James 1:6
Man Given to DoubtingT. Manton.James 1:6
Unstable MenW. H. Burton.James 1:6
Want of ApplicationS. Smiles.James 1:6
Wavering PrayerR. Turnbull.James 1:6
Wavering PrayersB. Jacobi.James 1:6
The Prayer of FaithT.F. Lockyer James 1:5-8
Wisdom for Those Who Ask itC. Jerdan James 1:5-8

The apostle has just been saying that the trials and burdens of life should conduce, if wisely borne, to the purifying of the believing soul, the bracing of its moral energies, and the perfecting of its spiritual life. But how hard it is to bear severe afflictions thus wisely! Every one needs a wisdom above his own, who would "count manifold trials all joy," and "let patience have its perfect work."

I. A UNIVERSAL WASTE. (Ver. 5.) Wisdom means the right use of knowledge. A man may know a very great deal, and yet not be a wise man. Wisdom classifies the materials of knowledge, and studies to use them so as to build up and beautify the life. It proposes right ends, and chooses the best means by which to reach them. It shows itself not so much in doing the right thing, as in doing it at the proper time. In the highest use of the word, "wisdom" is just another name for piety. It is that state of mind and heart which is produced by the believing reception of gospel truth. The one fool of the Bible is the sinner. The only wise man is he who regards the glory of God as the end of his life, and who makes his acts and habits means to that end. Now, we all naturally lack wisdom, and a thoughtful man realizes this lack most thoroughly in the time of trial. What a rare and difficult attainment is that holy discretion which can welcome even the contrary winds of calamity, and the driving storms of tribulation, because it can make them helpful in steering joyfully towards the desired haven!

II. AN ABUNDANT SOURCE OF SUPPLY. "God, who giveth to all" (ver. 5); literally, "the giving God." The living, loving Jehovah is the one Source and Fountain of wisdom. That is one of his essential attributes; and it is his prerogative to impart it to his creatures. He gives the Holy Spirit to work wisdom in the hearts of believers. Now, the God of wisdom is the Giver of all good things. His resources are infinite, and his gifts are universal and unceasing. In his common providence he imparts blessings to all his creatures - to the barnacle that clings to the rocks, and to the archangel that ministers before the throne. And he is "the giving God" in grace also. "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?" So he is ready to bestow wisdom at all times, and especially in the day of trial; he waits to impart to every devout sufferer a wealth of holy patience and of spiritual joy. And the giving God gives liberally and unreproachingly. It is his characteristic habit to be exceedingly bountiful.

III. AS EASY METHOD OF OBTAINING. "Let him ask, and it shall be given him" (ver. 5). Holy wisdom is not the result merely of thought or speculation. No Aristotelian or Baconian method can produce it. No habit of sullen, dogged Stoicism reveals its presence. It is to be had from God, and for the asking. God is the living God, and he is very near us; and we, his children, have the freest access to him. He gives "simply" to those who pray simply. He bestows "liberally" upon those who petition liberally. It is his way "to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." When Solomon asked only for wisdom, God gave him riches and honor too. When the prodigal requests only the place of a hired servant, his Father assures him of the station and honor of a beloved son. The Lord always gives liberally; never with a grudge - never ungraciously. He always gives with his heart when he opens his hand. Does the consciousness of much personal guilt make any of us slow to "ask of God"? Does our past neglect or abuse of his gifts deprive us of childlike confidence in coming to him? Then let us remember that he "upbraideth not." What a sweet word is that! It limns for our comfort a most touching trait of the character of the giving God. How unlike he is to human benefactors! Instead of reproaching the returning prodigal, he welcomes him with kisses of love. God upbraids no one for his great ignorance, or for his enormous guilt, or for his repeated backslidings, or for his long delay, or for making himself a last resource, or for coming too often, or for asking too much. How easy this God-appointed method of obtaining wisdom! We have only to "ask, and it shall be given" us. And how great the encouragement! "God giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not."

IV. AN INDISPENSABLE REQUISITE TO SUCCESS. (Vers. 6-8.) Prayer is not real unless it be the expression of faith. It must issue "from a living source within the will," and be inspired by perfect confidence in God's readiness to help. How much unbelief prevails in our time on the subject of prayer! The scientific temper of the age merely allows a man to "pray to God, if there be a God - to save his soul, if he have a soul." And the forcible words of James, in these three verses, suggest that still, in the case of very many Christians, an imperfect faith in God's readiness to respond to their prayers is one of the greatest defects of their spiritual life. We are apt, even, to speak of evident answers to prayer as unusual, and - when they do occur - as remarkable. Now, the gift of wisdom is promised only to him who asks it with a steady faith, and who evinces the reality of his faith by a life of consistent purpose. God our Father demands the confidence of his children. "Nothing doubting" should be the Christian's motto in prayer. The petitioner must not shift backwards and forwards between faith and doubt, like a tumbling billow of the sea. He must not swing like a pendulum between cheerful confidence and dark suspicion. It must be his fixed persuasion that God is, and that he is the Hearer of prayer. He must expect an answer to his supplications, and be ready to mark the time and mode of it; else he may rest assured that no answer will come. Transient emotions are not religion. It is the men and women within whom faith is the dominant power who take the kingdom of heaven by force. God is all simplicity himself, and he gives with simplicity; so he can have no sympathy with an unstable, double-souled man. A mind that continually vacillates in its choice will be prone in the end to fail in both the purposes between which it has hesitated. Certainly it will not obtain that Divine wisdom which every human heart so greatly needs for the exigencies of adversity. Steadfast faith, and that alone, will give a man singleness of eye, make him strong to keep hold of the angel of the covenant, and draw down upon him the richest blessings of gospel grace. - C.J.

But let him ask in faith.
What is it to ask in faith? To this some things are requisite as necessary conditions, though more remotely; some things as essential ingredients.


1. The asker must be in the faith, or rather faith in him; the petitioner must be a believer. How can he ask in faith who has no faith? (John 16:23.) How can he ask in Christ's name who believes not in it? There is no answer for him that is not a believer, "God heareth not sinners" (John 9:31). A fervent prayer for a thing unlawful is a crying sin.

2. The thing asked for must be an object of faith; such things as you may upon good grounds believe that God will grant (1 John 5:14).

3. The manner of asking must be faithful.(1) With fervency. He does not ask in faith that asks not fervently (chap. James 5:16). If we pray as if we prayed not, God will hear as though He heard not, take little notice except to correct. Strong cries only pierce heaven; such were Christ's.(2) With submission.(3) With right intentions. We must pray to glorify God, make us serviceable to Him, capable of communion with Him.

II. THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS OF THIS DUTY ARE THE ACTINGS OF FAITH IN PRAYER, which are one or other of these four. He whose faith puts forth any one of these acts prays in faith.

1. Particular application. Believing the promises whereby God has engaged Himself to give what he asks; so to ask in faith is to pray with confidence the Lord will grant the petition, because He has promised.

2. Fiducial recumbence. Faith can read an answer of prayer in the name of God, and stay itself there, when a promise appears not, or, through faith's weakness, cannot support it (Isaiah 50:10, 11).

3. A general persuasion that the prayer shall be heard. The prayer may be heard, though the thing desired be not presently bestowed, or not bestowed at all. And so a man may pray in faith, though he be not confident that what he prays for shall be given him, much more that it shall not be presently given.

4. A special confidence that the very same thing which is asked shall be given. Use: Take notice of the misery of unbelievers. They that cannot pray in faith must not expect to have their prayers heard. Of all duties and privileges, none more advantageous and comfortable than prayer; but it is faithful prayer: for without faith there is neither advantage by it, nor comfort in it. To pray, and not in faith, is to profane the ordinance. Pray as much, as often as you will, if not in faith, you lose your labour. The apostle is peremptory, "Let not that man think he shall receive anything of the Lord" (ver. 7).Now to prevent this wavering, this doubting, so dishonourable and offensive to God; so prejudicial, dangerous, uncomfortable to you: let me prescribe some directions, the observance of which will establish the heart, and encourage faith, in your approaches to God.

1. Get assurance of your interest in the covenant; that Christ has loved you, and washed you from your sins in His blood; that He has given you His Spirit; that you are reconciled and in favour. If you be sure you are His favourites, you may be sure to have His ear.

2. Consider, the Lord is engaged to hear prayer. Faith may conclude He will hear, for He will not, He cannot, be false to His engagement; but He is engaged strongly, by His titles, attributes, dec. When you pray consider He is able to hear and give what you ask. It is gross atheism to doubt of this, to question omnipotency. Consider He can do abundantly (Ephesians 3:20). He can do more than we ask. Easily. He can do the greatest thing you ask more easily than you can do the least thing you think. Safely. Without any loss or damage to Himself, without any diminution of that infinite store that is in Himself. He is willing. Faith seldom questions God's power; that which hinders its actings is doubts whether He is willing. But there is more reason to question this, for He is as willing as He is able.

3. Consider the nature and dignity of prayer, which affords divers arguments to confirm faith.(1) It is God's ordinance, instituted and enjoined for this end.(2) He in Scripture adorns it with, and ascribes to it, many transcendent privileges, such as, considered, may fortify the most languishing faith. There is a strength in prayer which has power with God (Hosea 12:3, 4).(3) Prayer is the Lord's delight, the most pleasing service we can ordinarily tender; therefore He does not only most frequently command it, but importunately sue for it. Let me hear thy voice, says Christ to His spouse (Song of Solomon 2:14), for thy voice is sweet. It is sweet as incense (Psalm 141:2; Proverbs 15:8).

4. Consider the promises. The Lord has promised He will hear. If ye doubt He will hear, ye doubt He is faithful. Consider how many, how universal, how engaging.

5. Consider your relation to God. He is your Father; Christ teaches us to begin with this.

6. He gets glory by hearing prayer.

7. Consider the success of others, how effectual the prayers of God's ancient people have been; this affords great encouragement.

8. Consider your own experiences, how many times God has answered your prayers formerly; that will be a great encouragement to trust Him for time to come. Those that have tried God are inexcusable if they will not trust Him.

9. Labour to remove those discouragements which hinder the exercise of faith in prayer, or weaken it in its actings. Try whether we pray in faith.

(1)Backwardness to pray is a sign that you pray not in faith.

(2)Carelessness in praying.

(3)Perplexity and solicitousness after prayer.This was a sign Hannah prayed in faith (1 Samuel 1.). (a) How can they believe their prayers will be accepted who see no ground to believe that their persons are accepted? There is a confidence to be found in unregenerate men in their addresses to God. The confidence of faith in prayer differs from this presumptuous confidence.(1) In its rise. The carnal man arrives at this confidence he knows not how. He attained it with ease, it cost him nothing; it sprang up in him as a mushroom, on a sudden, without his care or industry. Whereas the confidence of faith is not in an ordinary way so soon, nor so easily, nor so insensibly attained.(2) In the grounds. Presumption has either no ground at all, or else it is raised upon nothing but the sand; in some it springs from their natural temper. But now the confidence of faith is to be found in those who are most modest as to their natural constitutions, when once they are renewed and fortified by the power of grace. Christ and the promise is the ground of this confidence.(3) In the attendants. Confidence of faith is accompanied with —

(a)Reverence; a filial and a holy fear of God.

(b)Resignation of his will and wisdom to the will and wisdom of God.(4) In the effects.

(D. Clarkson, B. D.)

1. The apostle condemneth it, first, from a comparison or similitude, wherein the doubtful person in prayer is compared to a wave of the sea. For as a wave or surge of the sea swelleth by the rising of the wind, and by the strength thereof is carried hither and thither, and never remaineth steady, but always is troubled, so is a wavering minded man; for his manifold imaginations, his sundry cogitations, his divers thoughts of heart, so toss him and carry him up and down, that his mind can never rest, but is always vexed and never surely fixed upon any one thing; for now he thinketh God will hear him, and by and by he mis-doubteth; now he persuadeth himself God can give him his heart's desire, and forthwith he mistrusteth; now he conceiveth hope, and immediately he fainteth; now he saith with himself, I will make sure to God; but straightway he feareth. Thus is he tossed and troubled by his own cogitations, and carried away with the wind of his own vanity, and never resteth: wherefore he is well compared to a wave, of the wind and moved air tossed and tumbled.

2. As by this plain similitude, de this doubtfulness and inconstancy is condemned, so in like manner, and secondly, by a reason from discommodity and disadvantage, which followeth this wavering, the reason is this: that which bringeth no good unto men, but procureth hurt rather, ought not to be used among the saints of God. If a man should come to his neighbour and say, "Sir, I have a suit unto you, but I doubt I shall not obtain it, for I fear either you cannot, or at least you will not, perform my desire," doth he not stay the hand of the giver — doth he not make himself unworthy to receive anything that is so doubtful? Shall it not be replied, "Shall I do for him that hath me in suspicion that I will not help him, and doubteth of my good nature and frank heart towards him?"

3. The third and last way whereby he condemneth this is from a sentence generally received of all men, which he protested, as it were, proverbially. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways, therefore wavering in prayer is condemned. Unstable, which is derived from the commonwealth, which, having laws and orders whereby it may be governed, and they carefully observed. The commonwealth thereby hath her quietness and stability, whatsoever hindereth the prosperous quietness of the commonwealth, whatsoever is against good laws and orders, as sedition, tumults, uproars, tyrannical empire and bearing rule, and the like is called unstable, so in like manner in the mind of man, whilst reason ruleth and executeth her office, the affections of man continue in their place, and man's mind resteth in her quiet constitution; but if the affections break the bonds which reason prefixeth, there ariseth disorderedness and instability. He therefore which, doubting and wavering, prayeth, hath a disturbed and disordered mind, and hath in himself an uproar and tumult of affections which follow another thing than faith prescribeth, therefore is said to be unstable in all his ways. The double and wavering minded man is like an old and tottering wall, which daily shaketh and is always in danger of falling; yea, like the foolish man's building in the gospel, whose foundation being but on the sand, at the rain falling, at the floods rising, at the wind blowing, and the tempest raging, is in daily danger of ruin. The inconstant and wavering minded man, like the weathercock, is always turning, never long staying. Sometimes the wind of vainglorious ambition carrieth him with mainsail to pride; sometimes the blast of filthy pleasure thrusteth him headlong to unclean conversation; sometimes the swelling waves and mighty surges of prosperous condition enforceth him to vain confidence; sometimes the woful state of adversity casteth him violently into utter desperation; sometimes by desire of gain he is carried into covetousness; sometimes as careless of his estate he lavisheth out at large, and spendeth his goods by prodigality; sometimes he is allured with fleshly pleasures, sometimes he is cast down with fear, sometimes he is carried away with contempt and arrogancy of his spirit; now his mind is set upon this thing, now upon another, that he may rightly say with St. James, that he is unstable in all his ways. The wavering minded man, subject to all affections that are evil, and to all dangerous alterations, may therefore be compared to the unstable reed, which boweth and turneth at every wind; his unstayedness and instability carrieth the wavering minded man now into this danger, now into that, and so is always near unto perdition.

(R. Turnbull.)


1. TO "ask in faith" may be here spoken in reference to the person that prays; namely, he that prays must be in the faith, a faithful or righteous person (Psalm 66:18). "The prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16).

2. To "ask in faith" is to believe that all we say in prayer is true. When we confess ourselves to be grievous sinners, we are to think ourselves to be as great sinners as we say we are; when we call God Almighty "our Father," we are to believe Him to be so.

3. We are to believe that whatsoever we ask of God in prayer is according to His will.

II. As concerning the matter of our prayers we are to believe as hath been said, so AS TO GOD WE ARE TO BELIEVE SEVERAL THINGS. Indeed, scarce any of His attributes but some way or other we are to act our faith upon in prayer; but I shall choose some few on which the eye of faith is especially fixed in prayer.

1. The first is God's omniscience; for else we shall be at a great loss. If we believe not this, how can we be assured that God hears our prayers?

2. We are to believe God's providence, that He rules and orders all things. Whoso thinks that all things are ruled by second causes, by the power and policy of men, or by the stars, or chance, they will not pray at all, or go to God merely as a refuge: we shall pray to God, but trust to ourselves; or to medicines when we are sick, and to our food when we are well.

3. God's omnipotence is to be believed. Else we will stagger through unbelief.

4. We must act our faith upon His goodness and bounty. If we do not believe that the goodness of God is as much above the love of our dearest friend, as we account His wisdom and power above our friend's, we have unworthy thoughts of that attribute which God hath most abundantly manifested, and would have most glorified; and the love our friend bears us is but a drop from and of that ocean that is in God.

III. The third object of faith are THE PROMISES; and there are three kinds, some to prayer, some to the person praying. We are to act our faith upon all.

IV. The fourth and main object of faith which our faith must eye in our prayers, is CHRIST, in whom "all the promises are Yea and Amen , who hath reconciled the person and attributes of God: and concerning Christ we are to believe —

1. The great love God bears to Christ. Which is doubtless greater than to the whole creation.

2. We are to believe the fulness of Christ's satisfaction, and the greatness of the value and efficacy of the death of Christ. For if justice be not satisfied, we have no throne of grace, but a bar of justice, to come before. The blood of Christ hath a pacifying, purifying, purchasing, perfuming, reconciling, satisfying, justifying, virtue.

3. We are to believe the efficacy and infallible success of Christ's intercession. Christ doth four things as to our prayers.

(1)He indites them by His Spirit;

(2)He perfumes them by His merit; then —

(3)He presents our prayers and persons; for we have access through Him (Ephesians 3:12); and then —

(4)Superadds His own intercession, His blood crying louder than our sins, and better things than our prayers.

4. We are to believe and improve this truth; namely, that the Father exceedingly delights to Christ. And hereby God wonderfully honours Christ, by pardoning and receiving into favour such rebellious sinners as we are, for His sake, by forgiving anything for His sake.

5. We are to believe, improve, and obey Christ's commands (John 14:13, 14; John 16:23).

(1)We are to believe these things of God and Christ with an historical faith.

(2)With a faith, of recumbency. We are to rely upon the power, wisdom, and goodness of God, and upon Christ's interest in God, &c.

(3)Saints are, by way of duty, but not by way of a necessary condition of obtaining whatsoever they ask, to believe with the faith of assurance of obtaining whatsoever we pray for.

(Thos. White, LL. B.)

1. The trial of a true prayer is the faith of it.(1) An actual reliance upon the grace and merits of Jesus Christ. We cannot lift up a thought of hope and trust but by Him. We must come humbly; we are sinners: but we must come in faith also; Christ is a Saviour: it is our folly, under colour of humbling ourselves, to have low thoughts of God. If we had skill, we should see that all graces, like the stones in the building, have a marvellous symmetry and compliance one with another; and we may come humbly, yet boldly, in Christ.(2) We must put up no prayer but what we can put up in faith: prayer must be regulated by faith, and faith must not wander out of the limits of the word. If you have a promise, yon may be confident that your requests will be heard, though in God's season: you cannot put up a carnal desire in faith (1 John 5:14). All things are to be asked in faith; some things absolutely, as spiritual blessings — I mean, as considered in their essence, not degree. Degrees are arbitrary. Other things conditionally, as outward blessings. Let the prayer be according to the word, and the success will be according to the prayer.(3) The soul must actually magnify God's attributes in every prayer, and distinctly urge them against the present doubt and fear.

2. Man's nature is much given to disputes against the grace and promises of God. Carnal reason is faith's worst enemy. Then is our reason well employed, when it serves to urge conclusions of faith.

3. The less we doubt, the more we come up to the nature of true faith. Do not debate whether it be better to cast yourselves upon God's promise and disposal, or to leave yourselves to your own carnal care; that is no faith when the heart wavers between hopes and fears, help and God (Luke 12:29). Get a clear interest in Christ, and a more distinct apprehension of God's attributes. Ignorance perplexeth us, and filleth the soul with dark reasonings, but faith settleth the soul, and giveth it a greater constancy.

4. Doubts are perplexing, and torment the mind. An unbeliever is like the waves of the sea, always rolling; but a believer is like a tree, much shaken, but firm at root.

(T. Manton.)

New Cyclopaedia of Illustrations.
"While the prayer of faith," said an eloquent Welsh preacher, "is sure to succeed, our prayers, alas! too often resemble the mischievous tricks of children in a town, who knock at their neighbours' houses, and then run away. We often knock at mercy's door, and then run away, instead of waiting for an entrance and an answer. Thus we act as if we were afraid of having our prayers answered"

(New Cyclopaedia of Illustrations.)

He that wavereth.
Paul describes them as being "driven about by every wind." You never know where to find them; they are scarcely ever two days alike. The chameleon is said to take its colour from its surroundings, and so would it seem do these religions changeabilities. But, after all, these are not so dangerous to other people as are those who for the most part are consistent, but who at rare intervals seem to fall into sin. A clock that ever varies is never trusted even when it is right, and therefore does but little mischief; but let the trusted time-keeper go wrong, and the whole town may be thrown into confusion. And this applies the more forcibly as our position may be more public and conspicuous. Your own watch in your pocket may be altogether wrong, and nobody may know it but yourself, but if the clock in the steeple be in error, the fact will be on every lip. What the good beacon is to the sailor, such should every Christian be amongst men. The pilot making his way towards the Thames is shaping his course by the lightship; but, alas! the lightship has broken from her moorings, and soon both the "guide" and the voyager are stranded on the Goodwins. I was sitting one day looking out on the beautiful Mediterranean as it was lashed by the gale, and I was struck by what appeared to be the hesitancy of a vessel to enter the harbour. She backed and filled and stood off and on, when, as I supposed, she might have entered forthwith. The secret, however, Soon explained itself. Amongst the breakers dashing along the shore, there was being tossed "to and fro" one of the large black buoys which had previously marked the channel entrance. During the gale it had been driven from its moorings, and from being a useful guide it had become a helpless log. Alas that any who have been guides to others should ever be found amongst the miserable breakers of sin, driven away from the moorings of Christian believing and of Christian living.

(W. H. Burton.)

Of course no blessing comes if the man doubts. God could not give in such a case, because the man could not receive. When the Father has promised His wisdom, a special spiritual gift, how can it rule me if I close all the avenues of my spirit by my unbelief? The object of the gift is to improve the relations between the Father and the child, but manifestly that cannot begin to be done if the child believes that the Father is a liar, or even if he fail to have the most perfect faith in the honour and good intentions of the Father. He must not doubt. If he is not willing to give God trust, how can he expect God to give him wisdom?

(G. F. Deems, D. D.)

Place yourselves on the seashore in a storm; you see the billows rise up in varied form and size, but not one assumes its form or height independently of the rest. As the wind blows more or less violently, as it comes from this or that quarter, as the following wave presses on with greater or less force, will be the size and duration of each one that approaches you. And thus it is with the inclinations and wishes of men; they receive their direction from without, from this or that impulse, and fluctuate hither and thither as outward obstacles vary. Their wishes and resolves are never clear and determinate; their heart is always divided; they are fickle, wavering, inconstant, in all their ways. Is this the right condition of mind for prayer? For what are we especially to pray? To-day about one thing, to-morrow about another? At the present hour are we to pray ardently for a gift, about which at the next we shall be utterly careless? or shall we be earnestly interceding for an individual, to whose welfare in a few hours we are quite indifferent? Can this be what is meant by praying in faith? No; for in such a state of perpetual variation there is no faith, no certain assurance of the object of hope, no undoubting belief of that which we do not see.

(B. Jacobi.)

James the First of England, and the Sixth of Scotland, was a waverer. He was aware of this defect, and heard of a preacher who was singularly happy in his choice of texts. James appointed him to preach before him, that he might put his abilities to the test. The preacher, with the utmost gravity, gave out his text in the following words: "James the First and Sixth [James 1:6], in the latter part of the verse, ' For he that wavereth,'" &c. "He is at me already!" said the king.

An eminent Frenchman hit off in a single phrase the characteristic quality of the inhabitants of a particular district, in which a friend of his proposed to settle and buy land. "Beware," said he, "of making a purchase there; I know the men of that department; the pupils who come to it from our veterinary school at Paris do not strike hard on the anvil; they want energy, and you will not get a satisfactory return on any capital you may invest there."

(S. Smiles.)

Believe, Blown, Doubt, Doubteth, Doubting, Doubts, Driven, Driving, Faith, Heart, Nothing, Request, Spray, Surf, Surge, Tossed, Troubled, Wave, Wavereth, Wavering, Waves, Wind
1. James greets the twelve tribes among the nations;
2. exhorts to rejoice in trials and temptations;
5. to ask patience of God;
13. and in our trials not to impute our weakness, or sins, to him,
19. but rather to hearken to the word, to meditate on it, and to do thereafter.
26. Otherwise men may seem, but never be, truly religious.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
James 1:6

     4266   sea
     4851   storm
     4860   wind
     5517   seafaring
     8359   weakness, spiritual
     8722   doubt, nature of

James 1:5-6

     8409   decision-making, and providence
     8636   asking

James 1:5-7

     8024   faith, and blessings

James 1:5-8

     8604   prayer, response to God
     8720   double-mindedness

James 1:6-7

     5881   immaturity
     8617   prayer, effective
     8723   doubt, results of

James 1:6-8

     5038   mind, the human
     5884   indecision
     5891   instability

February 28. "Count it all Joy" (James i. 2).
"Count it all joy" (James i. 2). We do not always feel joyful, but we are to count it all joy. The word "reckon" is one of the key-words of Scripture. It is the same word used about our being dead. We do not feel dead. We are painfully conscious of something that would gladly return to life. But we are to treat ourselves as dead, and neither fear nor obey the old nature. So we are to reckon the thing that comes as a blessing. We are determined to rejoice, to say, "My heart is fixed, O God, I will
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Fourth Sunday after Easter Second Sermon.
Text: James 1, 16-21. 16 Be not deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 19 Ye know this, my beloved brethren. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

George Buchanan, Scholar
The scholar, in the sixteenth century, was a far more important personage than now. The supply of learned men was very small, the demand for them very great. During the whole of the fifteenth, and a great part of the sixteenth century, the human mind turned more and more from the scholastic philosophy of the Middle Ages to that of the Romans and the Greeks; and found more and more in old Pagan Art an element which Monastic Art had not, and which was yet necessary for the full satisfaction of their
Charles Kingsley—Historical Lectures and Essays

October the Eighteenth Unanimity in the Soul
"A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." --JAMES i. 1-8. If two men are at the wheel with opposing notions of direction and destiny, how will it fare with the boat? If an orchestra have two conductors both wielding their batons at the same time and with conflicting conceptions of the score, what will become of the band? And a man whose mind is like that of two men flirting with contrary ideals at the same time will live a life "all sixes and sevens," and nothing will move to purposeful
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

May the Fifth Healthy Listening
"Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only." --JAMES i. 21-27. When we hear the word, but do not do it, there has been a defect in our hearing. We may listen to the word for mere entertainment. Or we may attach a virtue to the mere act of listening to the word. We may assume that some magical efficacy belongs to the mere reading of the word. And all this is perverse and delusive. No listening is healthy which is not mentally referred to obedience. We are to listen with a view to obedience,
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

An Address to the Regenerate, Founded on the Preceding Discourses.
James I. 18. James I. 18. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. I INTEND the words which I have now been reading, only as an introduction to that address to the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, with which I am now to conclude these lectures; and therefore shall not enter into any critical discussion, either of them, or of the context. I hope God has made the series of these discourses, in some measure, useful to those
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

On Patience
"Let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:4. 1. "My brethren," says the Apostle in the preceding verse, "count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations." At first view, this may appear a strange direction; seeing most temptations are, "for the present, not joyous, but grievous." Nevertheless ye know by your own experience, that "the trial of your faith worketh patience:" And if "patience have its perfect work, ye shall be perfect and
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

On Charity
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." 1 Cor. 13:1-3. We know, "All Scripture is given by inspiration
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Loving Advice for Anxious Seekers
However, the promise is not to be limited to any one particular application, for the word, "If any of you," is so wide, so extensive, that whatever may be our necessity, whatever the dilemma which perplexes us, this text consoles us with the counsel, "If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God." This text might be peculiarly comforting to some of you who are working for God. You cannot work long for your heavenly Lord without perceiving that you need a greater wisdom than you own. Why, even in directing
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 13: 1867

All Joy in all Trials
Beginning with this word "brethren," James shows a true brotherly sympathy with believers in their trials, and this is a main part of Christian fellowship. "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." If we are not tempted ourselves at this moment, others are: let us remember them in our prayers; for in due time our turn will come, and we shall be put into the crucible. As we would desire to receive sympathy and help in our hour of need, let us render it freely to those who are
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 29: 1883

The Days of the Week
JAMES i. 17. Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is neither variableness, nor shadow of turning. It seems an easy thing for us here to say, 'I believe in God.' We have learnt from our childhood that there is but one God. It seems to us strange and ridiculous that people anywhere should believe in more gods than one. We never heard of any other doctrine, except in books about the heathen; and there are perhaps not three people
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

Sermon on a Martyr's Day
Of three sorts of spiritual temptation by which holy men are secretly assailed; to wit: spiritual unchastity, covetousness, and pride. James i. 12.--"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him. ALL our life (says Job), so long as we are upon earth, is full of struggle and temptation, insomuch that this life is not called a life by the Saints, but a temptation. When one temptation is over,
Susannah Winkworth—The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler

The Sixth Petition Corresponds as we have Observed to the Promise of Writing the Law...
The sixth petition corresponds (as we have observed) to the promise [26] of writing the law upon our hearts; but because we do not obey God without a continual warfare, without sharp and arduous contests, we here pray that he would furnish us with armour, and defend us by his protection, that we may be able to obtain the victory. By this we are reminded that we not only have need of the gift of the Spirit inwardly to soften our hearts, and turn and direct them to the obedience of God, but also of
John Calvin—Of Prayer--A Perpetual Exercise of Faith

The Deepest Need of the Church Today is not for any Material or External Thing...
The deepest need of the Church today is not for any material or external thing, but the deepest need is spiritual. Prayerless work will never bring in the kingdom. We neglect to pray in the prescribed way. We seldom enter the closet and shut the door for a season of prayer. Kingdom interests are pressing on us thick and fast and we must pray. Prayerless giving will never evangelise the world.--Dr. A. J. Gordon The great subject of prayer, that comprehensive need of the Christian's life, is intimately
E.M. Bounds—Purpose in Prayer

Biographical Preface.
"The Church! Am I asked again, What is the Church? The ploughman at his daily toil--the workman who plies the shuttle--the merchant in his counting-house--the scholar in his study--the lawyer in the courts of justice--the senator in the hall of legislature--the monarch on his throne--these, as well as the clergymen in the works of the material building which is consecrated to the honour of God--these constitute the Church. The Church is the whole congregation of faithful men, in which the pure word
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Antecedents of Permanent Christian Colonization --The Disintegration of Christendom --Controversies --Persecutions.
WE have briefly reviewed the history of two magnificent schemes of secular and spiritual empire, which, conceived in the minds of great statesmen and churchmen, sustained by the resources of the mightiest kingdoms of that age, inaugurated by soldiers of admirable prowess, explorers of unsurpassed boldness and persistence, and missionaries whose heroic faith has canonized them in the veneration of Christendom, have nevertheless come to naught. We turn now to observe the beginnings, coinciding in time
Leonard Woolsey Bacon—A History of American Christianity

The Puritan Beginnings of the Church in virginia ---Its Decline Almost to Extinction.
THERE is sufficient evidence that the three little vessels which on the 13th of May, 1607, were moored to the trees on the bank of the James River brought to the soil of America the germ of a Christian church. We may feel constrained to accept only at a large discount the pious official professions of King James I., and critically to scrutinize many of the statements of that brilliant and fascinating adventurer, Captain John Smith, whether concerning his friends or concerning his enemies or concerning
Leonard Woolsey Bacon—A History of American Christianity

The Neighbor Colonies to virginia-Maryland and the Carolinas.
THE chronological order would require us at this point to turn to the Dutch settlements on the Hudson River; but the close relations of Virginia with its neighbor colonies of Maryland and the Carolinas are a reason for taking up the brief history of these settlements in advance of their turn. The occupation of Maryland dates from the year 1634. The period of bold and half-desperate adventure in making plantations along the coast was past. To men of sanguine temper and sufficient fortune and influence
Leonard Woolsey Bacon—A History of American Christianity

Directions to Church-Wardens, &C.
CHURCH-WARDENS are officers of the parish in ecclesiastical affairs, as the constables are in civil, and the main branches of their duty are to present what is presentable by the ecclesiastical Jaws of this realm, and repair the Church [1] . For the better information of Church-wardens as to those particulars, which they are to present, [2] articles are to be given them extracted out of the laws of the Church, according to which they are to make their presentments, Can. 119. They are obliged twice
Humphrey Prideaux—Directions to Church-Wardens

Theological Controversies and Studies
(a) Baianism. Schwane, /Dogmengeschichte der neuren zeit/, 1890. Turmel, /Histoire de la theologie positive du concile de Trente au concile du Vatican/, 1906. Denzinger-Bannwart, /Enchiridion Symbolorum/, 11th edition, 1911. Duchesne, /Histoire du Baianisme/, 1731. Linsenmann, /Michael Baius/, 1863. The Catholic doctrine on Grace, round which such fierce controversies had been waged in the fifth and sixth centuries, loomed again into special prominence during the days of the Reformation. The views
Rev. James MacCaffrey—History of the Catholic Church, Renaissance to French Revolution

The Downfall, 1616-1621.
The dream of bliss became a nightmare. As the tide of Protestantism ebbed and flowed in various parts of the Holy Roman Empire, so the fortunes of the Brethren ebbed and flowed in the old home of their fathers. We have seen how the Brethren rose to prosperity and power. We have now to see what brought about their ruin. It was nothing in the moral character of the Brethren themselves. It was purely and simply their geographical position. If Bohemia had only been an island, as Shakespeare seems
J. E. Hutton—History of the Moravian Church

Knox and the Book of Discipline
This Book of Discipline, containing the model of the Kirk, had been seen by Randolph in August 1560, and he observed that its framers would not come into ecclesiastical conformity with England. They were "severe in that they profess, and loth to remit anything of that they have received." As the difference between the Genevan and Anglican models contributed so greatly to the Civil War under Charles I., the results may be regretted; Anglicans, by 1643, were looked on as "Baal worshippers" by the
Andrew Lang—John Knox and the Reformation

Whether Sacred Doctrine is a Practical Science
Whether Sacred Doctrine is a Practical Science We proceed to the fourth article thus: 1. It seems that sacred doctrine is a practical science. For "the end of practical knowledge is action," according to the philosopher (2 Metaph., Text 3), and sacred doctrine is concerned with action, according to James 1:22: "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only." Sacred doctrine is therefore a practical science. 2. Again, sacred doctrine is divided into the Old and the New Law, and the Law has to do with
Aquinas—Nature and Grace

Wherefore Let this be the First Thought for the Putting on of Humility...
42. Wherefore let this be the first thought for the putting on of humility, that God's virgin think not that it is of herself that she is such, and not rather that this best "gift cometh down from above from the Father of Lights, with Whom is no change nor shadow of motion." [2172] For thus she will not think that little hath been forgiven her, so as for her to love little, and, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and wishing to establish her own, not to be made subject to the righteousness
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

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