What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

By John Dunning

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given to him.
James 1:5

I am sure all of us have been in situations in the past where we were faced with a problem or a test and had no idea how to solve the problem or what to do. We can be perplexed, frustrated, maybe even depressed and the more we ponder the issue at hand the more frustrated we become; it’s just not a good thing to be facing trouble and not know how to make it better. James, who was the older brother of the Lord Jesus, says that if are in a test, a trial, but we don’t understand what to do about it, we are to ask the Lord for the wisdom and understanding of what to do in order make it through the test. Tests and trials are always intense in the middle of them but it is always satisfying when we pass through them and overcome them.

Let’s examine this passage of scripture for a moment. First, James tells us that we will face tests where we don’t know how get through them. There are some tests in life that we are not prepared for and it is natural for us to be shaken or to be surprised by them and thrown off guard. Anyone who has lived long on this earth knows exactly what we are talking about; there are times when we just don’t know what to do, and these times can be disheartening and depressing. The tests of life can rob us of our joy and steal away happiness. So, what do we do when we don’t know what to do? We ask of God. We pray and ask of God about the situation we find ourselves in because He is the One who knows all about it. There is nothing that the Lord does not see or know and He is the One Who, already as a fact in His mind, has a solution.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
–1 Corinthians 10:13

Oftentimes, while we are facing the trials of life, we have a tendency to get our eyes off of the One to whom we have to do, and focus on self. Self can not always solve his or her problem. So, what we do is expend a lot of useless energy and, instead, build up a lot of anxiety and frustration, running around in our mind wondering what we are going to do or how we are going to fix this problem and, going nowhere, we usually wind up taking our frustrations out on the people we are nearest and dearest to, like our wife or our husband. James says, “ask of God’; this means stop what we are doing, jump in our prayer closet and begin to ask the Lord for the wisdom from Him that will show us what we are to do and how we are to solve our problem and get through the test or trial, but, James also tells us to do something else;

 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
–James 1:6

Faith is the grease that fixes the squeaking wheel! So, in times of testing, Ask the Lord for the wisdom necessary to pass the test, and ask in faith without doubting and come out on the other end successfully. It may take a little time to get an answer but this is what the Lord wants us to do anyway, He just allowed the trial to come our way to prove to us that we can make it through the trial and overcome.