Wisdom to See
I’m thankful my family was able to travel up to Minnesota last weekend. We were able to spend some time remembering Jen’s sister, Shannon, who passed away last January. I am so thankful that when I’m not able to preach, we have a deep bench to step in. Andrew Boone knocked it out of the park last weekend. If you missed his message, you’ll want to circle back around and listen to it.
Andrew primarily unpacked the verse, “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) As Andrew stated, this isn’t a verse about asking God for wisdom in making a decision. It’s true that God does give wisdom to make wise decisions and it is appropriate to ask God for wisdom when we make decisions –whether big or small. However, the wisdom that James is referencing is a wisdom to see. In the context, it’s a wisdom to see that when trials and hardships come our way, we need to ask God to give us wisdom to see what He’s doing. Do we need this? Of course we do. We need to know and remember that God is never trying to ruin us. He’s on a mission to refine us.
There isn’t a single day when this verse isn’t relevant for you and me. There isn’t an hour that goes by when we don’t need to remember that we need wisdom to see that God is longing to make us “mature and complete lacking nothing.” (James 1:4) During the service, over 300 prayer requests were written on prayer cards asking for the wisdom to see what God is doing – wisdom to see God in financial struggles, marital struggles, health struggles, parenting struggles, spiritual struggles. Dare I say, we need wisdom to see God in church struggles?
There are challenges and trials in every arena of life, but may we choose to count it all joy during this time. James is encouraging us to practice the way of Jesus in this area. The writer of Hebrews tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2) Jesus found joy in the trials and pain because He had wisdom to see what was on the other side. He trusted God’s perfect plan. It doesn’t get any more challenging than this, but it doesn’t get any more relevant either. God longs to give us the wisdom to see He is after refinement and restoration, not ruination.
Pastor Jay Haugh
P.S. It was a joy for our staff to pray through all these requests on Tuesday.