Welcome to WELLING, for your spiritual being and your ministry overflowing. One of the world’s biggest fitness companies is presently unfit. It’s on life support. Some have the impression that it has about six months to live, registering six straight quarterly losses. They’re cutting costs aggressively. There are major layoffs. They used to sell very high-end at-home workout equipment, like $2,000 stationary bikes. But now they’re trying to survive. 

Said the headline, “Everything, everywhere, all at once is what they want to be. But the problem is that they are in the danger of diluting the brand with distribution deals and partnerships.” Then the writer says, “This is the kind of ubiquity that could undermine the brand’s exclusivity.” 

That headline got my attention, for it resembles God, everything, everywhere, all at once. I’m told there’s a movie by that name as well. I’ve not seen it. They need to add everyone for whatever it is so it will really get to resemble God, the God of everything, everywhere, everyone, all at once. Or better, anything, anywhere, anyone all at once. 

That’s the kind of a God we have in terms of live streaming wisdom and giving life changing wisdom just for the asking, without loss and exclusivity, despite his ubiquity, invisible as he is. He does not dilute himself just because he’s got partnerships and deals. What a great God we have. And I want you to get the conception of God right. We considered it last time. We are also considering this time to add a few more notes next time, the next episode. 

What did the epistle of James promise? He says, if any of you– anybody, anywhere, any time, all at once– lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all people generously without reproach. It will be given to him. Let him ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord. He’s like a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 

In the last episode, we talked about God being accessible and approachable. In this one, I’m talking about the promise. Making promise. Giving promise. Keeping promise. Meeting God. The giving God. The generous God. The gracious God. A man asks God, what’s billion minutes to you? And God says, it’s like one minute. The man says, what’s $1 billion for a year? And God says, it’s like $1. The man says, God, can you give me a dollar? And God says, just wait a minute. 

Our God is the God of anyone, anywhere, any time, all at once if they would relate to him in the way that God wants them to. He is exclusive and ubiquitous. Guess what? His nature is not diluted because he enters into deals and partnerships. 

We want to be careful about the word “deals” because this God we have as God does not get manipulated. You cannot bargain with him. There is no Faustian bargain with him. He just gives and gives and gives. So you can ask God, the giver, particular kind of God. James in this passage, right afterwards and around verses 13 to 18, he corrects a lot of false conceptions of God. 

Here are some. One, that God is limited and weak. That he’s powerless. Or, two, that God is miserly and stingy, that he withholds his wisdom. Three, that God is variable unstable, keeps changing a lot, and is undependable as a result. Or that God is immoral and evil. He tempts us to evil. That he leads us into evil. And five, that God is manageable and controllable. That if we do all the right things, you can strike a deal with him, that he can be swayed and obligated somehow to respond and reward you. 

Instead, he says, this is a prayerful faith. Faithful prayer is encouraging. Later on in the epistle when he talks about Elijah, the effective prayer of a righteous man. There is no possibility of God hearing us if we don’t offer it in faith. If we’re just making noise, we don’t offer it in faith. 

And then faith is not meritorious. Prayer is not manipulative. It is simply praying without doubting God. We said last time his character is good. His ability is full. His purposes as right. And we’ll look at the next episode with important matters in our approach to God. But here, all I’m emphasizing is God’s very nature, his attribute. 

One commentator theologian talks about his ontological nature being a giver since it is a description of God’s very nature. He gives. He gives. He gives again and again comprehensively, continuously, consistently. When we seek God for wisdom, his nature is genuinely impartial to all who asks. This is an invitation. And God is giving this generosity oriented without reservation, apprehension. 

God’s nature is generously simple without reproach and shame. Sincere. He doesn’t castigate. He doesn’t calculate and be suspicious of you. He just gives. He knows if you’re trying to earn it or if you’re just going to surrender to him in the invitation. This liberal-minded God with a single attention to gift giving of wisdom. He doesn’t withhold anything, and he gives it to you. 

In a couple of verses later, verse 12, he says, blessed is the one who endures trials, who faithfully endures trials, receives the crown of life. The trials theme continue. Enjoy finding trials. There’s an inner blessedness. We have seen people martyred, persecuted for the faith. Somehow, internally, they’re sensing a confidence and a well-being externally. They are persecuted for righteousness sake and what the world thinks is not blessedness they experience. 

They look forward to the crown of life. Not just a crown that is made up of fading glory, but the very crown, which is life itself. 

For faithfully enduring trials, that God will recognize us! God will give us victory and not some physical object which you leave for everybody else, but life on this Earth with a fullness and joy in eternity for what is to come. God has created, and shaped, and formed, and kept crowns for us who love him and endure the circumstance. 

If you look at God’s promises, it seems that, as we respond and as we end your trials, we have more staying power. But not only do we have staying power, we, upon asking, have wisdom for the trials and that this God is impartial. In the next couple of verses, he talks about rich and poor, and we show partiality to the rich. And God doesn’t have that kind of partiality. 

Any believer can be given the crown of life. He gives wisdom, and he gives endurance. He’s the promise maker, keeper, giver, meeter. 

Many years ago, I used to speak for a movement called Promise Keepers. And all of our speakers knew that, while we all wanted to be Promise Keepers, there’s was only, ultimately, one promise keeper. That’s what James 1 says. Promise given, promise made, promise kept, promise met, his very nature, giver, generous, and gracious. In that way, we joyify trials with much more than perspective, experiencing the generosity, not the stinginess of God, the graciousness, not the starchiness of God. 

Proverbs 26 says the source of wisdom is God. He keeps us from mistakes and sins. Every day I pray that God keep me from mistakes and sins. But every man prays. Every woman prays, prays to a God whose conception they need to get right because it comes from his existence and function, which they need to get right. 

All their gods are partial. All their gods fall into immorality. All their gods lie. All their gods can be manipulated. But James’ God, our God, he’s the good God who gives to all people without variableness or shadow of turning, generously and graciously. Promise made, given, kept, met, that’s your God.