November 14 I Thursday
“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.” —James 1:5
When it comes to facing trials, there is a development of thought in James’s teaching. He says the only way we can face trials positively is when we realize they are producing something desirous and we begin to experience joy in them. But what if this is not working? What if our trials are worsening and our faith diminishing? What does James say we should do?
To go back up the ladder, if we are not embracing our trial with joy and the testing of our faith does not produce perseverance, we must then ask, “What am I lacking?” James tells us the answer: wisdom.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God…” (James 1:5). We can ask God because He gives it to us generously without finding fault. When we have the wisdom of God, we view things from a different perspective and we begin to see and understand our trials as God sees them.
The wisdom James speaks of is received from a disposition of humility in which we come to God for His help. Later in the letter, James asks, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:13). Wisdom gives humility. If we are not humble about our trials but keep harping on “Why me?” this places an assumption that we are entitled to be different and free from trials. If this is our tendency, then from a disposition of humility, we need to ask God for wisdom. This will change our negative
experience into a positive experience, even to the point of us asking ourselves, “Why not me?”
Humanly speaking, this seems unrealistic, but James is not talking about human wisdom, logic or understanding. On the contrary, James tells us, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17). This is everything we need and God’s provision is proportionate to our sense of need. If we do not live with a sense of need, we will not live with a sense of provision either. If we are self-sufficient in any area of our lives, we have put God out of a job. But when we say, “I lack this wisdom, I lack the ability to cope with these trials,” and turn to God in humility seeking His heavenly wisdom, He will thereby allow us to persevere in our trials so we become mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, keep me coming to You always in humility. I ask that You grant me Your wisdom in coping with trials. Thank You, Lord.