Lacking Wisdom

Our passage of the day begins by contradicting human thinking. It tells us to have joy at the most inconvenient times and reminds us to ask for wisdom.

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“Lacking Wisdom”

 James 1:2-8

  • Our passage of the day talks about meeting trials of various kinds – with joy
  • Perhaps they will be trials of conscience
  • Trials of health
  • Trials of relationship
  • Trials of temptation
  • Trials of stress – or any other kind of trials
  • How will we meet them?
  • And when we do
  • Perhaps finding, in them, that we lack wisdom
  • Will we look to God?
  • Will we ask Him for help?
  • Diverse temptations and lacking wisdom from James 1:2-8 today…
  • We arrive at a passage today that begins by contradicting human thinking
  • It tells us to have joy at the most inconvenient times
  • Describes how useful the trying times can be
  • Reminds us we are not sufficient on our own (as we need God’s wisdom)
  • And warns us against double-mindedness
  • James, speaking to Jewish believers says…

James 1:2

2  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 

  • Other translations say it this way:

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,”

  • Or…

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”

  • Or even…

“My brothers and sisters, you will have many kinds of trouble. But this gives you a reason to be very happy.”

  • Why count it “all joy” when you face trials?
  • The next verse will help
  • It describes what these kinds of trial can do in our lives…

James 1:3

3  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 

  • Apparently, these are the kind of temptations that try our faith
  • And faith-testing is useful in the development of character
  • Specifically, in developing steadfastness
  • This is a patience that can also be described as constancy and endurance
  • The kind that is eminently useful for the various trials of the future
  • As they will also surely come
  • This working of patience is sufficient to make one joyful!
  • As we see that God is doing something in us that is beneficial
  • That will help us to cope
  • That will strengthen us
  • That will cause us to rely, not on ourselves, but on Him
  • And as this steadfastness is developed, it makes us mature in Him…

James 1:4

4  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 

  • These trials, as they cause us to rely on Him, do a work
  • They help to perfect and complete the Christian
  • To bring us to a point where we lack nothing (in regard to facing the trials)
  • But we may find ourselves insufficient in knowing what to do next…

James 1:5

5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 

  • These times of trial are precisely the times when we need wisdom
  • We need to know God’s mind
  • To understand His leading
  • To be dependent
  • Realizing our own minds are limited, but He is not
  • This is why we ask
  • Knowing God’s word promises that He delivers without holding back
  • Being relieved that He will not reproach us or find fault in us for asking
  • We should not ask doubting…

James 1:6-7

6  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 

7  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 

  • No trial we will ever face is too great for Him
  • This should cause us to have faith
  • He knew it was coming
  • He is in control of every detail
  • He always has our best interest at heart
  • He is allowing this for our good
  • And He knows what we should do next
  • To waver is to have some level of doubt about one or more of these things – or others
  • To question the liberality of His wisdom-giving
  • To question if He is even there
  • We don’t want to be like a boat on rough seas
  • Being ever tossed to and fro
  • We need the stability and the solidity only He provides
  • And we can expect nothing from Him if we doubt
  • Because…

James 1:8

8  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. 

  • In times of trial, God provides a solid foundation
  • He provides wisdom
  • He is not stingy
  • There is no reason for doubt
  • What variety of trial are we facing today?
  • Are we finding joy within it?
  • Is it useful in growing our steadfastness?
  • Does God have the wisdom – and will He provide it to us, so we can cope?
  • Might we waver in any of this?
  • I suppose we wouldn’t need this passage if we all handled these things perfectly
  • The reality is, He is sufficient in all temptations
  • And He freely provides wisdom
  • His children must not doubt or be double minded
  • But rather – be joyful

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