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. (James 1:6)

On one of Hudson Taylor’s first mission trips to China, the ship he was sailing aboard was beset by weeks of calm. Lacking power, the ship drifted toward some coral reefs off the coast of New Guinea. If the vessel were to hit those reefs, the passengers and crew would be shipwrecked. Hudson recruited two other believers on board to pray for a saving wind. Within minutes a breeze appeared and the ship was able to steer clear of disaster. Hudson later reflected, “Thus God encouraged me, ere landing on China’s shores, to bring every variety of need to Him in prayer, and to expect that He would honor the name of the Lord Jesus and give the help which each emergency required.”

James tells us the prayer for wisdom must be offered up in faith, not couched in doubts that stir up instability. Asking for wisdom without a sense of confidence in God’s willingness to say “yes” will only lead to indecision and additional turmoil. If God promises to always say yes to requests for wisdom, we must not wrestle with the possibility that perhaps we are the exception to His promise.

Though Hudson Taylor’s ship was dead in the water, his faith had momentum. This dramatic answer to prayer stayed with the missionary for the rest of his time in China, confident that God would be there for him, no matter what.

Name a doubt you face and take it to God in prayer.

Doug Schmidt is a freelance content developer living in Denver. His favorite thing to do is to sit in comfortable chairs and “download the day” with his wife.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.