WISDOM THROUGH UNWAVERING FAITH
James 1:5-6 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. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
From this scripture we find three very important lessons for all Christians. First, wisdom is needed, second, where wisdom is found, and third, how we are to ask for wisdom.
WISDOM IS NEEDED
Knowledge, understanding and wisdom are similar in many aspects. Many bible scholars and students use them interchangeably. However, they are distinctly different in meaning and application. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts and information gained through the learning process. Understanding is the intelligence to comprehend the meaning, or implication, of knowledge. Wisdom is the prudent and judicious use, or application, of knowledge and understanding. Wisdom is the ability to judge rightly and follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding. Of these three qualities, there seems to be a logical progression of gaining knowledge, fully understanding it, and applying it wisely. Without a doubt, all three, knowledge, understanding and wisdom are needed, in both our physical lives as well as in our spiritual lives.
From the physical side, the learning process starts at infancy and continues throughout life. Knowledge is gained at home as well as in private, or public, school systems. It is also gained by real life experiences through trial and error. The brain is capable of obtaining, and retaining, many facts and bits of information. We understand that if we put this knowledge to work, in various areas of endeavor, we can achieve success and prosper. Wisdom is exercised by originating, and putting into effect, a plan to attain successful goals - a plan that applies our knowledge and understanding. Wisdom tells us the right course to follow, and the prudent action to take in order to bring about success.
From the spiritual standpoint, the prophet, Jeremiah, tells us how much more important Godly wisdom is, as compared to earthly wisdom. He also shows us the relationship between knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise livingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord (Jer. 9:23-24). Glory, the condition of highest achievement, is not found in earthly wisdom, might, or riches. It is found in knowing God, understanding God, and exercising Godly wisdom.
Solomon told us in a number of places the importance of wisdom. Here are a few. Wisdom is the principal thing; wherefore get wisdom (Prov. 4:7). For wisdom is better that rubies; and all things that may be desired are not to be compared to it (Prov. 8:11). How much better is it to get wisdom than gold (Prov. 16:16). (W)isdom giveth life to them that have it (Eccl. 8:12c).
WHERE IS WISDOM FOUND
Knowing its importance, the question is, "Where is wisdom found?" James, the writer of our lesson text, says if any lack wisdom, let him ask of God. This text tells us that wisdom is lacking, and that God is its source. To find and obtain Godly wisdom, we must go to its source - to God. Proverbs 9:10 tells us, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. From this we see that Godly wisdom is not available to all. It is only available to those that know God, and hold him in awe with a Godly fear. He must be accepted as our Creator and as our final Judge. God holds our destiny in His hands. Not only does God hold the wisdom that will guide our lives here on earth, but He holds the wisdom that will lead us to eternal salvation in heaven.
The wisdom that will allow us to succeed in a material way here on earth is, indeed, a great blessing that we have in the Lord. However, the wisdom that will allow us access into Heaven is far more important. The true spiritual wisdom, that will allow us to gain eternal salvation, was not known to man prior to the coming of the Son of God. The manifold wisdom of God was a mystery to the world from the beginning of time, but is now made known by the church, which Jesus Christ died to establish (Ephesians 3:9-10). Christ's church, then, is the avenue through which spiritual wisdom is obtained. It is through The Son of God, Jesus Christ, that we have access to the wisdom of God through prayer. Through fervent prayer, God's children are able to petition His wisdom to guide both our physical and spiritual lives.
HOW WE ARE TO ASK FOR WISDOM
Our lesson text tells us that we are to ask in faith, nothing wavering. From our study to this point, we should believe that God is the source of all wisdom. The fact that he asks us to seek it in Him, tells us that He is willing to give us wisdom. This should give us the faith sufficient to believe, and to know, that we can have this wonderful blessing through Godly faith. Not only does God give this wisdom freely and liberally, but the text says that He upbraideth not those that seek His wisdom. God does not scold His children for coming to Him seeking wisdom, but, rather, He earnestly desires that we do so. Regarding Godly wisdom, His promise is that it shall be given him.
Do you believe that God is the holder of wisdom? Do you believe He is willing to grant you this wisdom? Are you willing to become His child by being baptized into the body of His Son, Jesus Christ, and thereby have access to God in prayer? Are you willing to humble yourself in prayer and earnestly ask God for this wisdom to conduct your life, both physically and spiritually, from this day forward? Is your faith strong enough for you to believe this with all your heart, that you can indeed ask unwaveringly, never doubting, that God will answer your prayer with the gift of wisdom?
If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then you can surely enjoy God's wisdom as the unerring guide to every aspect of your life, both physical and spiritual. You will enjoy a full and prosperous life. A life that will serve you well, and you will also be an inspiration to everyone that you come in contact with.
As recorded in Chapter 28, Verse 12, Job asks the question, But where shall wisdom be found, and where is the place of understanding? This question is answered in Job 28:28; ...Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. May we all understand the lesson contained in these few verses of God's word.