Thursday in the First Week of Ordinary Time

James 1:6-8

The Father’s Good Pleasure

Our Lord said, “Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life…Instead seek His Kingdom, and these things we will be added to you.  Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom” (Luke 12:22-32).  And in another place, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13).

With these words from our Lord, we are better able to receive the words from James when it comes to prayer.  James is clear that we must ask without doubting.  Indeed, such a man is “like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”  He should expect nothing from the Lord being double-minded and unstable “in all his ways.”  These are hard words, especially for those of us who lack the measure of faith others have.  But them we are reminded of our Lord’s words.  Our God is a loving Father who truly desires to bless us; indeed, it is His “good pleasure” to do so for us.  And when compared to our evil selves, why would we first ask a friend for help first?  Our Father is exactly that—a loving Father—calling us to call upon Him.

But we must also see these verses in the context in which they are written.  James was just talking about asking God for wisdom.  Jesus was saying that even the necessities of life should take a backseat to the Kingdom of God where our prayers are concerned—even to the point of giving some of those necessities away for the sake of others.  Indeed, he is the Holy Spirit for whom we should ask the most!

And when we ask for these things, why would we doubt?  For then we are praying according to his will (1 John 5:14).  And James will soon enough say, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (4:3).  If we struggle with doubt in our prayers, perhaps we know inside that we are not asking for that which we should. 

Still, God “knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14).  And so our Lord answered the poor man’s plea for his son who cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).  Yes, there are times when we say the same from a heart full of anguish.  And the Lord hears those prayers as well.  Just remember: It is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom.”  Be strong and courageous, and pray in peace.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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