Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God – who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly . . . ~ James 1:5
Explanation of the Text: James seemingly disjointed manner of writing leaves many perplexed and causes James to be profoundly neglected by the church in its studies. That disjointed manner though adds a level of beauty to the text that causes readers to inspect the text and contemplate it at a deeper level. Here many assume that James is switching topics between trials and wisdom. Yet, is wisdom not paramount to one’s navigation through trials? Trials have the propensity to create doubt, cause fear, and inject uncertainty into one’s lifestyle. Wisdom is a skilled and sensible approach to life, beginning with the fear of the Lord and always demonstrated by one’s action. Consequently, wisdom can calm one’s soul by inducing a perspective that is grounded in reality.
Wisdom then is an asset to be utilized in the midst of the most difficult times. True wisdom, that begins with a fear of Him (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10) causes one’s perspective to be rightly oriented towards God and the culmination of His purposes in one’s life. Yet, in trials, wisdom is quickly abandoned in the midst of emotional responses. It is important then, to seek God and ask for his wisdom in maneuvering through those tight situations. Even more, James says that God gives generously and ungrudgingly. Not only is it worthy to ask God for wisdom, but one can come in confidence that God, in kindness, will fulfill it.
Examination & Application of the Text: In his candid and practical way of writing, James is quite clear in this verse that believers should be intentional in seeking God. Often times this is not the natural reaction; instead many of us are quick to run from God. Yet, true wisdom is demonstrated by the opposite reaction: running to God. Certainly, this is not always the easiest response, yet it is the most profitable response because it allows one to incline their head and heart towards the will of God in trust and confidence knowing that trials will produce Christlikeness in a believer.
Questions to Consider:
What is your natural reaction in the midst of trials?
Why is wisdom necessary in trials?
When the next trial comes in your life, what will you do differently to make sure you are fixated on God?