Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Wisdom of God

James 1:   2  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.   (ESV)

James 1:2-8 are Scriptures that have significant importance to me in my walk with God.  It seems to me that I have received more than a normal share of difficulties throughout my short 55 years, and everytime that difficulty presents itself, I most assuredly have a hard time considering it to be an opportunity for joy!

Yet, my friend, that is what God calls us to do.  We are to count every difficulty in our life as an opportunity for joy because that difficulty causes us to endure, and when our endurance is fully developed we will be perfect and complete; ready to face anything! 

Seeing our difficulties in life as opportunities for joy and then enduring through those difficulties with joy takes an understanding of the mind of Christ, really, because His ways are not our ways.  We only see joy or happiness as being those times when life is all about us and it's all going the way we want it to go. 

But just as in the case of a child who is given everything He wants, that joy and happiness turns to selfishness and self-centeredness, and when we are able to look at our difficulties in life as a way to learn how to bear up under hard circumstances (with a smile on our face and a song in our heart) because we know that God has a purpose for our indignity, that's when endurance serves a greater purpose in our lives.  This takes wisdom, and we are advised by James to ask God for His wisdom and that He will not resent our asking Him for it.  But, and this is a big BUT...He wants us to truly believe that He will give it to us when we ask Him for it.  He wants us to be sure - certain - grounded - in our belief that if we ask Him, He is faithful to hear and respond. 

Further along in James, Chapter 3, we are told by James what God's wisdom consists of:

17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  (ESV)

So, as we ask God for His wisdom, realize that we are asking Him to help us see our difficulties through eyes that are pure - clean, perfect, no falseness; peaceful - at rest; gentle - without harshness; open to reason - able to see both sides of the situation; full of mercy - able to forgive; and good fruits = love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control; impartial - without prejudice; and sincere - wisdom that is genuine.   Chew on that for a minute. 

When God gives us His wisdom; wisdom to deal with any difficulty or situation in life, these are the things that will be evidenced in our actions:   Purity, peacefulness, reasonableness, gentleness, mercifulness, impartiality and sincerity.

If our actions are anything otherwise; then we are not acting with the wisdom of God.   God's word is very specific about what God's wisdom includes.  Therefore, we cannot ever say that we had nothing with which to measure our actions, can we?

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