James 1:5-7 - FINDING WISDOM.
James 1:5-7 (NLT) If you need wisdom, ask
our generous God, and he will give it to you. He
will not rebuke you for asking. 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. Such people should not
expect to receive anything from the Lord.
What is it about brothers in the Bible?
If you want to know how to treat your siblings,
it's hard to find good examples in there -
especially the Old Testament. Jacob deceived his
brother, Esau, to take all of his rights as the
firstborn. Then Jacob tricked their father to receive
the blessing that was meant for Esau. Joseph
told his older brothers about dreams in which
they all worshiped him. (Not exactly a great way
to make friends). His brothers reacted by
tossing Joseph in a pit, selling him into slavery,
and telling their father that a wild animal
killed Joseph. And how about those first two
brothers, Cain and Abel? Cain's jealously and anger
took over and caused him to kill his brother.
Things don't get much better in the New
Testament. Jesus had several half brothers and sisters.
His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas are
mentioned in the Bible. But according to John 7:5.
"Even his own brothers did not believe in him."
How could that be? By growing up with Jesus,
they would've seen he was different. But maybe it
was too much for them to believe that their
brother was God's Son.
Wait a minute! you might be thinking.
Didn't Jesus' brother James write a book in the
Bible? Yes, he did. But he didn't believe Jesus'
claims until after Jesus died. Once Jesus rose from
the dead, he appeared before James to tell his
brother the good news (1 Corinthians 55:7). After
seeing his older brother face-to-face, James became
one of Jesus' most committed followers. He was a
leader in the church at Jerusalem. Some experts say
James' change of heart is one of the strongest
arguments for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. His
encounter with the risen Jesus affected James so much
that he devoted the rest of his life to telling
the world the truth about his older brother,
God's Son, Jesus Christ. In the end, he was put to
death for his message.
The beginning of the book of James tells
us to ask God for wisdom (James 1:5). As you
build your case for Christ, you're going to need
plenty of wisdom to sort through arguments and find
the truth. Pray to God for wisdom. He'll help
you find the truth - just like he did for James.
[Case For Christ For Kids by Les Strobel]
In Hebrew thought, wisdom was the ability
to apply godliness to everyday living. Not
merely head knowledge, wisdom was the practical
ability to do the righteous thing in every
situation. This was not an inherent human ability but
God's gift. That's why we need to ask for wisdom.
It is available to every believer who asks.
James had received God's gift of wisdom, but it
did not make him proud. In fact, James described
himself as a "bondservant, meaning a slave or
attendant who has given up personal rights to become
subservient to another.
This humble and wise servant of God
offers an abundance of practical, moral, and
ethical instruction. Calling believers to lead
righteous lives, James included suggestions on dealing
with temptation, curbing the tongue, accessing
the power of prayer, and demonstrating one's
faith through action and not merely in words. He
exhorted us to show compassion, love, and kindness to
widows, orphans, and strangers. James taught that
God is involved in our day-to-day lives and that
He is pleased with even the simplest acts of
faith, particularly those that express love
practically toward others. [Being Still With God Every
Day by Henry Blackaby]
Since God thought up the whole idea of
relationships between men and women, parents and children,
and friends, doesnt it make sense to go to
him for direction when you have a problem?
As todays verse says, If you want
to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and
he will gladly tell you (James 1:5 TLB).
Why do we have to ask before he answers?
Because our relationship with God begins with faith.
He doesnt force things on us. He invites us
into a relationship with him. So we ask.
Now I have to say, too many times I
forget to ask. If youre like me, youre just
rushing through your day doing this, doing that,
assuming its going to be okay. But you need to
just stop once in a while and say, God, I ask
you, what is your direction? He will gladly
And how does he tell you? An answer will
usually come through one of two main ways: through
people that are following him and through his Word.
Get together with a few people who you know seek
after God, and ask them for their opinion. Look in
their eyes, and get an honest answer. And, turn to
Gods Word. Ask him, God, what do you have to
say about this?
Some people think God is not interested
in our relationships. After all, hes got a
universe to keep going. But he is interested. He made
you! The Bible says, But be sure in deciding
these matters that you are living as God intended,
marrying or not marrying in accordance with Gods
direction and help, and accepting whatever situation
God has put you into (1 Corinthians 7:17).
I understand the hurts that can exist in
some relationships, but the incredible promise of
Gods Word is that he can bring beauty into any
relationship - not perfection, but he can bring beauty.
Both people in the relationship have to agree,
and it will take some struggle to get there. But
to give up is nowhere in the plan or purpose of
God. Thats why you have to go to him for
direction and guidance. By Tom Holladay [Daily
Devotional by Rick Warren:
Sometimes we feel that our lives have
gotten confusing or out of balance. They are not
satisfying to us, and yet we don't quite know what to
do. The first thing to do is ask God to grant
you wisdom and be assured that He will. The
second thing you can do is be prepared to take
action. Knowing what we should do and doing it are
two different things.
I recently felt that some things in my
life had gotten out of balance and I was not even
sure how it happened, but I knew something needed
to be done. I heard myself complaining about
dissatisfaction in some areas and finally realized that I
was the only one who could do anything about it.
It is quite common to want to blame
circumstances or other people for our problems, but I have
learned over the years that it is usually me who
needs to take responsibility.
I needed to pray and get some direction
from God and then take action. I determined to
take my life back. I saw that I needed to be more
organized, because disorganization causes confusion.
Organizing my thoughts and following God's lead felt
much better than floundering around aimlessly,
murmuring about things that only I could change.
If you feel your life has gotten away
from you and you're ready to take it back, God
will help you. However, His directions do us no
good if they are not followed. Set your mind and
keep it set for victory!
Father, I ask for Your wisdom in knowing
how to make improvements in my life that will
please You and enable me to be the person You want
me to be. Thank You! [My Time with God by Joyce
I was trying to make a decision this
morning and I found myself vacillating between two
opinions of what I would do. It was becoming very
frustrating, but then the Lord reminded me that I really
didn't need to make that decision for another
thirty days. I felt instant relief!
Many things could happen during those
thirty days that will influence my decision, and by
waiting and trusting God to guide me in what to do
when the time actually comes, I am giving Him an
opportunity to work in the heart of the person that the
decision involves, as well as in my own heart.
Most of us want to do the right thing,
but deciding what that is can often be
challenging, and it may be due to trying to make
decisions before we have to make them. God gives us
what we need when we need it, but not necessarily
when we want it. Many things in life work
themselves out if we will pray, give them to God, and
wait for His perfect timing. God has promised to
guide us, and He always keeps His promises!
Father in Heaven, thank You for guiding
me and showing me what to do at the exact right
time. Help me not to make decisions rashly and
possibly make a mistake. [My Time with God by Joyce
I had lunch recently with a businessman
who runs his own company. As we talked, the
subject of wisdom kept popping up in our
conversation. So I asked, "How does a person get wisdom? I
realize we are to be men of wisdom, but few people
ever talk about how it is acquired."
His answer was quick and to the point:
I paused and looked deeply into his eyes.
Without knowing the specifics, I knew his one-word
answer was not theoretical. He and pain had gotten
to know each other rather well.
It was then I quoted from the first
chapter of James: "When all kinds of trials and
temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don't
resent them as intruders, but welcome them as
friends! Realize that they come to test your faith
and to produce in you the quality of endurance.
But let the process go on until that endurance
is fully developed, and you will find you have
become men of mature character, men of integrity
with no weak spots" (James 1:2-4, Phillips).
There is no shortcut, no such thing as
instant endurance. The pain brought on by
interruptions and disappointments, by loss and failure, by
accidents and disease, is the long and arduous road to
maturity. There is no other road.
But where does wisdom come in? James
explains in the next verse: "And if, in the process,
any of you does not know how to meet any
particular problem he has only to ask God - who gives
generously to all men without making them feel
guilty"and he may be quite sure that the necessary
wisdom will be given him" (1:5).
As I see it, it is a domino effect. One
thing bumps up against another, which, in turn,
bumps another, and in the long haul, endurance
helps us mature. Periodically, however, we will
find ourselves at a loss to know what to do or
how to respond. It's then we ask for help, and
God delivers more than intelligence and ideas
and good old common sense. He dips into His well
of wisdom and allows us to drink from His
bucket, whose refreshment provides abilities and
insights that are of another world. Perhaps it might
best be stated as having a small portion of "the
mind of Christ."
When we have responded as we should to
life's blows, enduring them rather than escaping
them, we are given more maturity that stays with
us and new measures of wisdom, which we are
able to draw upon for the balance of our lives.
By accepting life's tests and temptations
as friends, we become men and women of mature
The pain brought on by loss and failure
is the long, arduous road to maturity. There is
no other road. [Chuck Swindoll
When Faith Wavers
If we believe that God is who He says He
is and will do what He has promised, why do so
many of us habitually waver in our prayers?
Instead of exercising bold faith, we come to the
Lord hoping He will hear us and answer our
requests, but were just not sure He will. With this
kind of thinking, we cannot expect to receive
anything from Him.
One reason we are so prone to doubt is
that we fail to see God at work in our
circumstances. We asked, and nothing happened. But the Lord
is not some cosmic bellhop who jumps in
response to our requests. He sees past, present, and
future and knows the right time for every answer.
His invisible hand is already at work on our
behalf - arranging situations to accomplish His
will, opening hearts, and preparing us to receive
what He wants to give.
Another cause for uncertainty is
ignorance. If we dont know Gods ways, we will be
disappointed in His response. All too often our prayers
are accompanied by expectations of how He will
work. When He fails to intervene according to our
timetable or anticipated method, we start to doubt.
But placing our faith in the Lord and trusting
in His good and perfect ways gives us stability
as we wait for His answer.
To overcome doubts, spend time in the
Word to learn Gods principles and ways. Then
youll begin to grasp what He wants to achieve in
your life and how He goes about it. Examine your
past from a biblical perspective - faith will
grow as you see the unexpected ways He answered
your prayers. [In Touch Daily Devotional by
Charles Stanley at www.intouch.org]
When I was a young adult, a friend of
mine said something that completely changed my
career. He said, "Whenever I hit a wall, I pray
As software developers, my colleagues and
I use the phrase hit a wall when we don't know
what else to do about a problem. We've tried
everything we can think of. We've researched the
problem, conferred with colleagues who might know the
answer, and even consulted documentation. We've
tried alternate ways to code the program. Nothing
works. Often we'll spend days trying to get through
My friend said that after he prays,
"Ninety-five percent of the time - not all the time, but
95 percent of the time - I get an answer in
five minutes." I was shocked. I'd always believed
in God, but I'd never heard of anyone getting
answers for problems on the job 95 percent of the
In the years since, when I remember to
put my friend's advice into practice, I have
found his percentage to hold. Without the
technical insight from God, I would never have been
able to accomplish the things I have in my
S. A. Miller, a missionary with Wycliffe
Bible Translators, develops software for Bible
translators. He is an editor, a speaker, and a writer.
[The One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional]
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
James 1:6: Faith vs Doubt.
James 1:6: Faith vs Doubt.
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies:
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: