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James

Apr 26, 2020 | Randy Gunter

Receiving God’s Wisdom in Trials

Receiving God’s Wisdom in Trials

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. 5 If 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; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:2-4, 5-8 ESV)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds. (James 1:2)

Everyone meets trials. The question isn’t if we face trials, but when we do. As Christians, we are to respond unconventionally, as people who God has made alive by faith and given wisdom.

 

God is insisting on a new normal, and he uses trials of various kinds to bring it about.

Three things God is doing in trials:

  1. God is moving us.

When we get spiritually stagnated, and even spiritually unhealthy, God will use trials to move us. Perhaps God is moving you to be:

  1. Dependent on him
  2. Loving and longing for the Body of Christ, his Church
  3. Devoted to his word and prayer
  4. More neighborly and loving
  5. Faithful as a disciple-maker for your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and others.

We should be pliable and moveable as God desires, not stubborn and stiff-necked. Pray, “God, move me where you want me to be in heart, soul, mind, and body.”

  1. God is “proof testing” us.

 During trials, God identifies what is unsuitable in our hearts and lives, desiring to remove what is unfit and replace it with truths, values, and practices, worthy materials for building life.

  1. God is developing us to be fully mature. …The testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:3b-4 ESV)

Trials have a purpose and process. 

We ought to be careful when we think, “I want to get back to normal” because God isn’t looking for us to get back to normal; God’s purpose is to move us to be perfect and complete.

Ask God for wisdom during your trials

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach. (James 1:5)

Ask God for wisdom to understand his perfecting work in us during the trial.

We’re seeking wisdom from God to understand that communion and dependence on him during a trial is better than separation and independence from him in life without trials.

Reflect and Respond: Sovereign Lord, the trials in my life are opportunities for your greatest work in me. I trust you to use the circumstances and hardships to bring fullness and wholeness in me. Where I am lacking, fill me with wisdom to understand your work of grace in trials. Amen.

God possesses and gives wisdom generously to those who ask in faith

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5) 

If we lack the wisdom to know how to grow in faith during trials, to be perfected and completed through them, then we are to ask God, who is wisdom. In return, God will generously give it to us without reproach.

However, there is a condition to God’s generous supply of wisdom to us during trials; we must seek his wisdom in faith without doubting. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…. (James 1:6)

A person who asks God for wisdom during a trial can’t doubt the goodness of God to provide. Asking God for wisdom, while doubting his goodness, is double-minded, according to James. 

 A double-minded person is unstable because he can’t decide if his heart is for the kingdom of God or the kingdom of the world. He is wondering if he can trust God with the details or if he has to be self-reliant.

He is unstable because during the trial, God’s proof-roll test reveals unsuitable conditions in his life, and he is unwilling to repent and turn in the wisdom of God. So, he suffers, but without gain.

During trials, ask God for help with faith. He will give you wisdom. If he is moving you and proof testing you, then he is maturing you. Don’t go through the hardship and suffering only to miss the spectacular work of God in your life, perfecting and completing you so that you lack nothing that matters eternally.

 

Series Information

An in-depth study of the book of James. 

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