“It is because of him (God) that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”
1 Corinthians 1: 30
James 1: 5-8
Picture the scene, a big solid Super Tanker ploughing a straight route through turbulent, ferocious seas, oblivious to the conditions. Picture a second scene, a rudderless, Captain-less sea going yacht in the same conditions bouncing from one wave to another, being turned in every direction by winds and swells alike. This is the picture that these verses in James conjure up in relation to wisdom and decision making. Are we like the Super Tanker that knows our course in life or are we like the yacht bouncing from one indecision to the next? In truth we are all probably a mixture dependent on the issue and circumstance. We must remember though that these verses link to the previous and connect with consideration of and navigation through trials. When facing trials what route are we to take, how can wisdom guide us?
The answer says James is simple; ask God. James then makes some very clear points: God gives generously; we are to ask for wisdom; we are to ask with belief; and we are not to doubt. God wants us to ask and seek Him, He is a generous and loving God and wants the trials we face to work for our good and His glory. He will answer even if the answers are not what we expect or even in some cases want. The wisdom He will give links directly to the object of our faith, the Lord Jesus. Jesus has become for us wisdom from God, the source of our righteousness, holiness and redemption (1 Cor. 1: 30). The good that God will bring out of trials will conform us to the likeness of Jesus so the guidance He gives will take us deeper into righteousness and holiness, into understanding the depths of the Gospel. We need therefore to look at trials from this perspective and with this belief in our hearts. The worst thing we can do when asking God for His wisdom is then to doubt. Allowing other voices and ideas into our hearts and minds will take us down a confused and choppy course.
Practically, prayer, bible study and counsel with other trusted Christians provide the main, but not exclusive, means for us to hear God’s voice. Personally, I look to understand the circumstance, I meditate on God’s Word and I seek Him in prayer. When the Holy Spirit lines up all three sources and I sense His confirmation, I make my decision or follow a certain route. It is almost like triangulating the direction of a course. The more this discipline is adopted the easier it becomes to hear and discern God’s Wisdom.
To Ponder: Consider a difficulty or trial you are facing. Unpack the circumstances; what are all the issues that exist? Turn to a Scripture that connects with the circumstances (if in doubt ask a trusted Christian friend for help in identifying a relevant passage). Meditate on the Word and pray. Do you sense the Holy Spirit confirming God’s truth and directing you? Write down your conclusions supported by the Scripture then hold onto that course without doubt or doublemindedness. Build in a future time to review and seek God again
Pray: Dear Lord our lives can be full of storms, demands and decisions. In your Grace grant us the wisdom of the Lord Jesus to walk in His steps, the way of the Gospel. Teach us to listen to, understand and heed your Word along with the courage to obey. Thank you, Lord, that you have walked before us and walk with us now and every day. Amen
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