If you are like me, the opening words of James are challenging and difficult to integrate into life.
How can someone “consider it all joy,” when faced with various trials?
I remember reading a book by Johannes Facius several years ago. He suffered a terrible disability for three years.
Everyone seemed to have an answer for this great prayer leader’s condition, except Facius.
I am sure this man of God frequently relied on the message of James 1.5-8.
If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.
But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
For the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord (James 1.5-8).
The Availability of Wisdom
No matter what we need wisdom for, James declares that God is ready to provide it.
God is generous with his wisdom. He is not stingy with the valuable commodity of his awesome wisdom.
If the Wisest Being of All is willing to impart wisdom to his children, why not ask for it?
Dallas Willard used to playfully ask conference attendees who they believed to be the wisest person on earth.
Albert Einstein, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and other contemporary luminaries were often the answer.
According to Willard, Jesus was often omitted by the audience. He believes this is so because Jesus is associated with the spiritual, but not the intellectual sphere of life.
With his gentle humor, Willard asked his listeners if they thought anyone knows more about space travel, science, finance, or any other topic than Jesus.
The conclusion to Willard’s experiment is that God is far and away more intelligent than any human. He is willing to share his wisdom if we are willing to ask him for it.
The Necessity of Faith
The test or the crisis of faith that is brought about by suffering needs to be met with faith when we ask God for wisdom. See verses 3 and 6.
Faith is not the absence of doubt. Rather, faith is continuing to follow God in spite of fears and doubts.
Faith is the conviction that God is our Plan A and an unwillingness to have a Plan B in case God doesn’t give us what we want.
Johannes Facius is an excellent example of this kind of faith. He had just finished leading a prayer team through Lenin’s tomb when he suffered an apparent heart attack.
Tests on his heart showed normal functioning, but his health didn’t return. He was a well-known Pentecostal prayer leader, and many of his friends came to his home to give him counsel and pray for him.
Both medicine and miracles did not change his situation, but he continued to trust God for the outcome.
While he kept the faith, Facius asked God for wisdom. God didn’t deny him and granted his request.
His book, “God Can Do It Without Me,” was the account of the wisdom that God imparted to his servant.
No Matter What
No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we can ask God for wisdom.
Faith is not a double-minded approach to God, with God as a Plan A and our fallback idea a Plan B. Faith continues to walk with God no matter what.
With that in mind, what do we need? Think about your needs today and ask God to give you the wisdom to approach them.
Be willing to follow his direction as the plan for your life and discover his best plan for you.
Rudy Ross and I talk about the Book of James on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.