July 21 Do not suppose you will receive anything

James 1: 7-8, “For that person must not suppose~~ that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a double-minded individual, unstable in all his ways.”

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to go from spiritual highs to emotional lows? One who sees God as a kind of a Santa Claus can easily be disappointed.

If we attempt to know God through personal experience, doubt and disillusionment are inevitable. God can only truly become known through revelation: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17).

A person who loses confidence in God’s purpose (James 1:6) “must not suppose”—-that is “expect, or consider something to be true,” especially—-“that he will receive anything from the Lord.” God does not attempt to convince people by answering skeptical prayers. Those committed to God find His wisdom and provision sufficient.

Faith is not expectation or presumption. Disappointment because of less–than–expected results is not lack of faith. Presumption is a self–convincing effort that acts on what it supposes God is going to do; it is an attempt to ignore doubts by focusing on the positive, as though the effort to eliminate doubt can guarantee the results.

Such skeptical or presumptious prayers often are selfish, primarily benefiting the person praying. On the other hand, faith is based on trusting God to accomplish His will, regardless of what it is, as He fulfills His purpose through the circumstance. Disappointment or disillusionment are symptom of presumptions instead of a trusting faith.

Two additional characteristics of the doubter are given: first, he is “a double–minded individual”—-that is, he is has “two souls.” He wants to be allied with God, but he refuses to be obedient. He is after something for himself under a religious shroud.

His insincerity is evident because he is “unstable in all his ways.” He experiences highs and lows, being controlled by circumstances. His emotions make him undependable. He is the classic “fool” of the book of Proverbs.

Never attempt to dictate to God. Trust Him and wait! Act on His word and trust Him in all situations regardless of what happens. He has a plan and it is good.  He is trustworthy. 

“Dear Lord, keep me from presumption as I pray. Help me to know You well in order to pray according to Your perspective and Your plan for this world.”

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