1. We need it to become mature Christians. We need it to deal with the trials and testings of our faith. We need it to knowhow to respond to various situations. We need it to make the important decisions that affect our lives, our families and our church.
2. We all need wisdom. Perhaps we look at some people and consider them wise. Perhaps we may even think we have wisdom. Perhaps we hear James say "If any of you lacks wisdom" and we say, "Well, he’s not talking to me. This message is for others.
3. And yet I say to you this evening, that each one of us is lacking in wisdom. For although we are being transformed into the likeness of Christ, it will not be until we are in heaven that we will be fully glorified, fully mature.
4. James has been talking to believers and reminding them that trials or tests of their faith are there to help them become mature - not lacking anything.
5. And as if he wants to point out what is a very important component of maturity, he then talks about the lack of wisdom.
6. If we looked closely at the Greek construction of vs. 5, we would see that the word if has an expected or implied answer. It assumes that people who are facing trials do lack wisdom and so that we all lack wisdom at one time or another.
7. We live in a world with greater knowledge that ever though possible. We have found solutions to all kinds of problems.
8. But the wisdom that James is talking about is not human wisdom.
9. And so this evening as we first describe the wisdom that James is talking about, ask yourself "Do I lack in this kind of wisdom?"
1. What is this wisdom which we lack? Paul describes wisdom for us in Eph 1:17-19 and Col 1:9-10 .
a. To be wise is to know the hope we have and His will for us. When we know this we are able to endure and be patient in trials. To know what lies ahead, to know there is light, a glorious light, at the end of the tunnel enables us to face the trial which surround us.
b. Wisdom is understanding and knowing God and how He works all things for the good of those who love Him. It is, as NIV notes say, not just acquired information, but practical insight with spiritual insights. It is seeing the spiritual aspect of all that happens, knowing that it is to prove our faith.
c. Mat 7:24 - to be wise is to put the words of God into practice. Wisdom is applying the will of God as we find it in His word - not just through our own thinking, but it is applying that wisdom in specific situations. God does not tell us exactly how to respond to each situation in detail but give us truths to apply.
2. When we consider wisdom we consider Solomon. (1Kgs 3:5, 7-9)
a. We know story of two prostitutes who both claimed that a baby was theirs. Solomon suggested he divide baby in two. When one objected, Solomon knew that she was the real mother.
b. So the story goes, there was once another king who had lost the respect of his people. One day he was reminded of this story about Solomon. "Oh, he said, if I would just have a similar situation, I would regain the respect of my people." Believe it or not, several days later, two women appeared before him with a similar problem. "Wonderful," he thought, "this is just the opportunity to demonstrate my wisdom just as Solomon did." After hearing the story and the argument between the two women, he asked his six-foot-four armed attendant who was standing beside his throne to give him a sword. "What are you going to do, sir?", asked the big soldier. "I’m going to cut the child in two" the king answered. "Oh, sir, you can’t do that" - the attendant protested. Pointing his finger at the man, the king quickly said "That proves it, you’re the mother."
c. This story may be ridiculous but it shows the difference between knowing certain things and being able to apply them.
3. How do we get this kind of wisdom? Simple - just ask and God will give this wisdom generously and freely.
4. To ask is to admit we need His wisdom - when we come to God and tell Him we need Him, He is willing to give.
5. He will give it without fault. This means that He does not put us down. "He doesn’t say John, you are a minister, you have been a believer for many years - you should have the wisdom to deal with this situation, I disappointed in you." While ago I was having a problem transferring files to the host of the RSC homepage. If I did something wrong, it meant that the host in Calgary would need to spend some time fixing my mistake. In one letter which showed he was becoming impatient with me, he asked me not to make the same mistake again. He explained what I had done wrong but I still did not get it. I wanted to ask him to explain again but since I hadn’t understood before and because I though he might get even more upset, I was afraid to ask him.