But 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. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways
Last month we opened up the epistle of James, looking at verses 1-4 of chapter 1. We specifically looked closely at verses 2-4 under three heads:
1) Joy in the midst of trails
2) The purpose of trials
3) The full affect of trials
This Sunday we’ll continue in chapter 1:5-8. Some commentators believe that this text is unrelated to the previous verses, other than their being next to each other, but this is not so. James ties these two sections together with the linking word lack (Leipo in the original). As we saw last time, verse 4 ends with the phrase “…in order that you may be complete and whole, lacking nothing. Verse 5 continues using the same word, “But if any of you lacks wisdom.” James uses this word along with others as catchwords that connect thoughts. We will also see that James writes that wisdom is what’s needed when one goes through trials – thus linking verse 5-8 to the context established in verse 1-4. So, the two sections, verses 1-4 and verses 5-8, are tied together in more than one way.
Wisdom and faith are two themes we see recur throughout James, and this what we will be focusing on this Sunday. Wisdom is more than knowledge. We may know how to do many things, but wisdom, which includes knowledge, refers to an endowment of the heart and mind, that is needed to conduct a right and godly life. This is wisdom and it comes from God (read Job 12:13, Rom 11:33) who supplies liberally to those who ask in faith. Wisdom is particularly necessary in the midst of trials, while faith is what is needed to receive wisdom from the Lord.
Please pray for the service this Sunday as we dig further into the Epistle of James together.