If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:5-12 (NIV)
What is one thing you wish you had growing up that you have now?
Ask a teenager this and they might answer money, or a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Ask this of an adult over 45 and most of the time they answer “wisdom.”
Wisdom to not make the wrong choice. Wisdom to see that the relationship differently. Wisdom to not buy that car or take out the second mortgage.
Wisdom is such a ubiquitous word. It seems to be everywhere except in us when we need it most.
When James, the half-brother of Jesus, invites his readers to ask God for wisdom whenever wisdom is in short supply, he mentions that God will give it to us generously.
Then James adds an odd clause. He says “but.”
But when we ask for wisdoms we must not doubt but believe.
How do we doubt God when we ask for wisdom? The answer to this question is really for someone above my pay grade. But if I had to answer this question, I’d say its because we aren’t open to the voices of wisdom around us.
I believe a lot of times God is giving us wisdom but we don’t listen to it because it comes from our spouse, our parents, our pastor—like he knows what he’s talking about anyway—our coworker or someone who you view as your competitor.
How many times do we pray for wisdom but then we don’t ask the people around us? How many times do we ask the people around us but it’s not the advice we want to hear. Maybe we don’t want to hear it because is will cost more time, energy, or resources. Maybe we don’t want to hear it because it wasn’t our idea?
The point is, when we ask for wisdom, we need to open and believe God will give it to us. Believe and don’t doubt.
Why shouldn’t we doubt? Because doubting is unbelief, which is what I am seeing more and more as the root sin in our lives.
If God says he will give us wisdom, we need to believe this.
Our belief then requires an action—something James will mention later.
That action will be you and I. Actions on our belief that G or will give us wisdom. So make that phone call to your small group leader. Be humble enough to as you employee how he would handle the situation if it were him. Ask your spouse which route she would go. I mean that one metaphorically and actually.
It takes humility to ask for wisdom. That’s what James is wanting us to realize. We need to be humble and know we don’t know.
Our humility positions our heart to ask for wisdom from G of and receive the wisdom God gives, possibly, through others.
Wisdom is the result of perseverance. Not only is wisdom our reward for persevering but there is a reward in heaven for those who pursue wisdom through the tests and trials of life.
My next step:
Ask G of for wisdom and be humble to receive God’s wisdom for others.