17 July 2019
Reading: Isaiah 29-31; James 1
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6 NLT)
James’ brief letter to the Jewish Christ-followers scattered through the Roman Empire is intensely practical. In the challenging world they lived in, often facing persecution from both the religious people and from the pagan culture, they needed day-by-day, situation-by-situation, choice-by-choice wisdom from God.
It’s not that different in our world today! On the one hand, the world is changing faster than it has at any time in history! On the other hand, just like the Christ-followers James was writing to, if we’re going to live our faith in a changing world and in challenging circumstances, we still need God’s wisdom.
James tells us that a sincere prayer for wisdom is one prayer that God will always answer. But he cautions us on this one thing: Don’t mix your sources. Don’t try to patch together a little wisdom from God and a little wisdom of the world and a little “heads or tails” lucky guessing! Ask God, trust God, and be sure your faith is in him alone! And he will come through. Promise!
I’ve been asking God for wisdom for as long as I can remember. I’ve told God that I want to be remembered for wisdom more than for anything else. I believe he is answering that prayer as I face the realities of daily life, but I sure wish I could do better at applying his wisdom in practical ways. It seems like if I really had God’s wisdom I wouldn’t keep making so many silly mistakes! But I’m not giving up!
I need wisdom, and I’m going to keep asking our generous God!
Father, Thank you for the gift of wisdom. Thank you for the availability of divine wisdom for human situations – wisdom available just for asking. Please help me to do better at applying your wisdom in the details and decisions of my life. Please help me share your wisdom effectively with others along the way. Amen.