We learn about the wisdom of God through the book of James starting from 1:5. Verse 5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God and it will be given to him” In the bible, Solomon is another great king and is known as the king of wisdom. And we learn many things from Solomon.
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives freely to everyone and doesn’t find fault.” If we ask the wisdom of God, he will give it to us any time. I find it interesting that the word, wisdom, sopia(σοφία) in Greek originally comes from God, not men. Thus we should ask God anytime and anywhere.
Sometimes, we wonder why God does not answer our prayers. There are two ways God will answer. Firstly, we must not doubt. Let us read James 1:6, “But when you ask, you must believe. You must not doubt that he will answer. That’s because a person who doubts is like a wave of the sea. The wind blows and tosses them around.” Our God wants us ask for his guidance. Once we do pray, God wants us to believe and not doubt. Originally, faith means, “more than a belief that God will give what we ask; it also includes confident and unwavering trust in God.” Once we ask God, we need to believe that he will answer our prayers and not doubt him. The original meaning of doubt is to differentiate. It comes from the Greek word, diakrinomenos(διακρινόμενος), which can be translated as “distinction or division.” It does not mean just doubt something as a basic conflict. Instead, it identifies the distinction between God and the world. This means that to pray with doubt is the act of disconnecting with God. Thus we need to ask God and not doubt.
The second way God will answer us is if we pray truthfully. We read in James 4:3, “When you do ask for something, you don’t receive it. That’s because you ask for the wrong reason.” King David obeyed God most times. However, once he made a big mistake. One night, he slept with Bathsheba. That was evil in God’s eyes. She had a baby, who was very ill. And David prayed for him. However, David did not acknowledge his own fault and the baby died. Because David asked God for the wrong reason.
Once we pray, we are to believe that God will answer our prayers. On the process, we are to trust God without doubting and ask God in truth. Matthew 21:22 says, “If you believe, you will receive what you ask for when you pray.” When you pray by faith, God will answer our prayers in his times and in his ways.
James 1:7 says, “They shouldn’t expect to receive anything from the Lord.” If we asked God, we were to expect that God would listen and answer our prayers. James continues to warn that in verse 8, “This kind of person can’t make up their mind. They can never decide what to do.” Once we ask God, we hope that he will answer our prayers even though his answer may not be what we expect.
Read James 1:1-8 again and identify ways we can apply the wisdom of God in our lives.
Rev Dr Je Cheol Cook