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Wisdom from Above

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“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, Who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. 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.” (James 1:5-6)

We all need wisdom. Every day, there are decisions we have to make, and often we don’t know what we should do. All the options can be overwhelming, especially when we consider that our choice could affect the rest of our life. How are we supposed to know what to do? How can we ever make a decision and have confidence that it is the right one? Will we look back in days to come and grieve over the choice we should have made? Where can we get the wisdom we need to make the right decisions?

The answer lies in the book of James. The whole book offers reams of practical advice for Christians, and the very beginning addresses the topic of wisdom. This has clearly been an object of concern for thousands of years; in every generation, people have wondered what they are supposed to do next. Fortunately, God doesn’t leave us in the dark about how to get answers; through James, He has given us a very simple answer—ask Him. Ask Him what to do, and He will give us our instructions for the task at hand.

So then, wisdom is readily accessible through God. But as always, there is something we have to do, too. God will tell us what to do, but our job is to believe Him. James gives a warning: “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting….” (James 1:6a) Doubt is the enemy of peace, sowing discontent and mistrust. When we doubt, it shows that we don’t have absolute faith in God. We don’t completely trust that He knows what He’s doing, and we wonder if maybe there’s another, better way. But when we start thinking along these lines, we miss out on the wisdom God wants to give us. We become, as James portrayed, like a wave of the sea. We have no firm foundation, and so we’re just as helpless as we were before.

It can be hard to trust God. Many times, the things He tells us to do won’t sound like wise advice. But that’s where faith comes in. When we believe that God really does know what He’s doing, and then we act on that belief, incredible things happen. God is the One Who does great works, Who brings about happenings so marvelous that we wouldn’t believe them if we were told. In Him, we can have that foundation we so desperately need. We can hold fast to Him, fully trusting Him with every part of our lives. We may fear for our future, but God is already there. He knows what’s going to happen tomorrow, and He gives us wisdom for today so we can get there. He always, always tells us what is right. It is our choice to act on what He says.

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