Verse of the Day Devotion: James 1:5
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” – James 1:5
In order to get the major context of this verse, we need to look at the three verses prior to this. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4. Now, this verse can be used for any situation wisdom is needed, however, when you see the words in the above verses, ‘your faith produces endurance’ it makes sense what James is focusing on.
Now, the wisdom that James is no doubt referring to is that wisdom which helps the Christian get through these times of trials, for there is probably no time the Christian needs the wisdom from God more than in how to bear up under the ordeal they are suffering. This wisdom is essentially understanding that for us to be stronger in our faith knowing God is totally in control, it must be tested so that any area where we do not grasp this truth can be strengthened. And the stronger it is, the more endurance we have to continue through it. I believe this is why God does not always deliver us from difficult situations. To paraphrase Francis Schaeffer on this topic, ‘too often we ask God to deliver us from our trials, when we should be asking Him to bring us through our trials.’
Part of this wisdom is seen in James 1:2. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,” How can we rejoice, counting it all joy to suffer these trials? By realizing the following. 1) That God is in control, and He would not have had you go through this if there was not a good reason, 2) Because our faith in God strengthens as we see His help and support though it, and 3) We are glorifying God by trusting Him that we will make it through. It is interesting that in countries where persecution is at its worst, the church is growing and flourishing. Here in the United States, where persecution is much, much less, we see more people leaving the faith, churches losing members and closing their doors. Kind of makes sense.
If we are enduring hard times, we can pray to God for the specific wisdom we need. We all, as Christians, have wisdom imparted to us. One is the knowledge we need Him. Another is how to treat each other. In fact, the bible is a book full of wisdom. And when we read and study His word, we gain much wisdom and knowledge. However, this wisdom may not be fully understood, and therefore God must strengthen it in order to equip us to do His will, no matter what that is. Most times, through trials, our understanding of His word increases.
So, when we find ourselves in a time of trial, consider it a good thing, for your growth and the Kingdom of God. We must see our times of trials as a needed time that will equip us for the times that are coming. For when the end-times arrive, it will be incredibly difficult. When that time comes, we should consider it a time of joy, for we know His return and our deliverance is just around the corner. And when things seem too hard to handle, pray to God for His strength and wisdom to help us through. God is able and willing. All we have to do is ask it of God.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.