Summary: Part 2 in our study of the Book of James

A Life of Works Produced by Faith

Part 2

“Gaining Wisdom From Trails”

Date: September 8, 2002 P.M Service

Place: Allendale Baptist Church

Text: James 1:5-8


This morning in the first message of this series on the book of James, he gives this strange charge to the Christian community. He encourages them to “count it all joy when you fall into various trails”.

 Its not a matter of if we will fall into trails but when will we fall into trails. Trails will come and they will come in all types and circumstances.

 The real question is how we face these trails & troubles. You can only face them two ways as far as I am concerned:

1) With Fear or

2) With Faith

Verse 3 tells us a very important factor about being able to make a conscious commitment to rejoice and count it all joy. He says knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Let me explain as we study verse 5-8 tonight.

Stand for the reading of God’s Word.

First let’s see the…

I. The Source of Wisdom

A. “If any of you lack wisdom”

1. Every one of us needs this wisdom. It is referring back to understanding, during the trails, God is in control. He is working everything according to His purpose and will.

2. Being able to see God through the midst of trails & troubles

B. “Wisdom”

1. Wisdom is the practical use and exercise of knowledge.

2. Now I have been around smarter folks than I am, people who have great knowledge, but just do not know how to use the knowledge they have obtained.

3. As some would say; “They have head knowledge but no common sense.”

C. This is divine wisdom that enables the believer to be joyous and submissive during the trails of life.

D. This wisdom we all need and desire can only come, can only be obtained from God.

1. You cannot get it by going to school. We do not receive it merely by life’s experiences

E. We see 3 thing about God in this verse

1. He is a giving God. – “Who gives”

a. The very life we have is given to us by God

b. So we can ask God with confidence for this wisdom knowing He will give it.

2. “Who gives to all liberally”

a. This means generously. God is never conservative in His giving. We should be conservative in our theology, but never in our giving.

3. “Without reproach”

a. This means He does condemn us for asking.

b. God may say no to some of our request, but when we ask Him for wisdom, He never says you are asking for too much.

How do we obtain this wisdom?

II. The Securing of This Wisdom

A. “If any man lacks wisdom let him ask”

1. We all need this wisdom and all we need to do is ask.

B. But we must ask “in faith.”

1. Knowing, trusting and believing God will answer.

2. But be ready for the answer.

3. Last week I have to admit, I had come to a point when I needed this wisdom. Things were beginning to overwhelm me and people were rising up against me. I needed God’s wisdom. Sunday evening I called my pastor friend and asked his advise and for his prayers. He told me how I should pray and he said “be ready for the answer, it may not be the one you want.”

C. One translation of verse 6-7 reads; “But when you ask God, be sure that you really expect Him to tell you, for a doubtful mind will be as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind; and every decision you then make will be uncertain, as you turn first this way, and then that way. If you don’t ask with faith, don’t expect the Lord to give you any solid answer.”

The literal translation of the term “double-minded” is a person who has their heart or soul divided between the things of God and the things of the world. Someone that is double-minded is at best a hypocrite, and shows distrust in God.

Three truths we see in these texts.

1. Practical wisdom for the ordering of life is a common requirement of the Christian.- We all lack it

2. Practical wisdom for the ordering of everyday life is a divine gift.- It only comes from God.

3. Practical wisdom for the ordering of life is obtained only on condition.- We must ask for it.

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