Good morning Summit Family,
The impacts of Covid-19 are beginning to increase dramatically. I am personally aware of several people who have either been laid off from or lost their jobs. It appears that for many, the economic concerns associated with Covid-19 may be just as intense as the health concerns. Fear and anxiety continue to grow with the increasing number of effected Americans. Yet, James has shared that we can reach a point of maturity and completeness in our faith that results in our lacking nothing. What an extraordinary statement! It is one that calls for a closer examination, one I think James knew his readers would need. It is very possible the recipients of his letter were thinking about a wide variety of things they lacked in their current circumstances.
James completed verse four (Although we know that James was just writing a letter. He would not have scripted it in chapters and verses.) saying that when we let perseverance finish its work, we could become mature and complete, lacking in nothing. His next statement may seem to be in contradiction to the previous one. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” He has just told us we could reach a point of lacking nothing and now he is telling us what we may lack.
There are a lot of things people frequently think they need to have a “complete” life – a new job, a raise, a new house, healing from a disease, etc. I can also imagine James’ readers may have genuinely needed those things since they had been scattered abroad. Even in our world today we are highly experienced in asking God for the things we think we need. However, James is attempting to get them to focus on maturing their faith, not improving their financial or social status. So, it seems reasonable to conclude that James is drawing their attention to the one thing they need to ask God for…wisdom.
It is necessary to face life’s trials and tribulations with wisdom because it is the only thing that can serve as a universal “tool” for facing those situations victoriously. Remember, we will face a variety of trials throughout this life. Money will not be the answer to each and every kind of trial we face. Medical healing will not always be the answer to life’s problems. Finding a new job, getting a raise or a promotion, or starting a new relationship may be the answer to some of life’s trials, but they will not be the universal answer. There is only one – having the ability to face the trials of life with wisdom, allowing God to give you the insight to KNOW how to weather those storms.
James is giving us guidance on exactly what we should ask God for! Wow! And he goes on to say that when we ask God for wisdom, He will give it to us, not only is small doses but generously, not finding fault.
God is a generous God. So generous that in order to lavish His love on us, He sent his only Son to die on a cross so that we could have a personal relationship with Him. With such a demonstration of His love, it seems only reasonable that he would continue to be generous. Remember Solomon. When given the opportunity to ask God for ANYTHING, his one request was for wisdom. God not only gave him wisdom, but He also gave Solomon fame and fortune! That is an example of the kind of generosity our God demonstrates.
And God will grant us wisdom without finding fault. That doesn’t mean God is going to point out our weaknesses as justification for withholding His wisdom. We frequently hear: You aren’t experienced enough for this job; You don’t have the proper credentials; You aren’t strong enough to complete this task; You’ve only be a Christian for a few months; You don’t have the abilities we are looking for; etc., etc. in this world. Not so with God. There are no qualifying conditions that need to exist in order for us to receive His wisdom. He is willing to grant us wisdom, wisdom we need as we persevere through ALL of life’s trials. What an incredible offer!
James is sharing what God is prepared to do to help us through life’s trials. Tomorrow, we will look at what WE NEED TO DO to fulfill our role in this journey of complete and mature faith.
Have a blessed day!