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Spiritual Resources for Testing Times (2 of 11)
The Spiritual Resources for Meeting Trials (1:5-8)
Not only is it essential to have the proper attitude towards trials (Jas. 1:1-4, 12), we need to know and put into practice the spiritual resources that God has provided for testing times. I would not want to suggest a humanistic approach to conquering trials because without the Lord we can do nothing. Nevertheless, according to James 1:5-8, there are three spiritual resources that God makes available to us to meet our trials: Wisdom, Prayer, and Faith.
The first spiritual resource for testing times is . . .
1. Wisdom (1:5a)
To have the proper outlook during trials we need insight beyond ourselves. The qualifying "if" should not mislead us. It should be understood to mean "since individuals among you are deficient in wisdom." We have a wisdom deficiency that can only be met by the Lord Himself.
(1) We need to understand that we're not talking about wisdom as "knowledge" in the sense of having more information. By wisdom we mean biblical insight into the mind and plan of God. This wisdom is rooted in the fear of God (Prov. 1:7), a healthy reverence of God. This begins to be a reality in our lives when we know Christ "who has become for us wisdom from God" (1 Cor. 1:30). The most knowledgeable person without Christ is still deficient in wisdom. Intellectualism without the indwelling Spirit of Christ dooms a man to live in ignorance.
James also teaches about wisdom at 3:13-18. There he tells us that there is an earthly wisdom that is "earthly," "sensual," and even "demonic" (3:15). That kind of wisdom won't help us. What we need is "God's wisdom that is from above" (3:17).
(2) James says that the believer is to ask for this wisdom. "Let him ask," which is a continual action, "keep on asking."
(3) God gives us this wisdom "liberally" or "generously." The language here is that God is just waiting to pour ...
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