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July 19 Ask God for wisdom

James 1:5 But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask~~, God who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.

   How do you keep a healthy outlook on life when everything is falling apart or, worse, when the world turns against all Christians? No matter how severe or difficult the trial, the rules for survival apply. The secret is in the wisdom of God, which teaches us how to think about situations from God’s perspective.

Most people tend to rely on their own intuition and resources when things are going well, to the point that, practically speaking, they do not need God. They have everything under control. It is only when we are desperate that we turn to God in prayer.

Nothing reveals our need for God more than our prayer life. It is a good thermometer of how much we want to or have to depend on God. In the preceding text, James commanded believers to have the perspective of “joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (1:2). The key word here is knowing—especially knowing that God’s perspective, or wisdom, gives joy, though not necessarily happiness. It is joy to know that an all-powerful God is working in and through our lives to produce His character in us so we can honor His name by being like Him in the midst of rejection and persecution.

James offers a sufficient and necessary remedy to life’s maladies: “ask God” for wisdom, not as an escape from your problems, but to provide understanding that will motivate your endurance. We are to add to our faith, “knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance…For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful” (2 Pet 1:6, 8). God wants to produce a spiritually fruitful child. This is what we should understand, and we should make it our goal and our focus with a whatever-the-cost mentality. This is wisdom.

The verb “ask” is in the present imperative tense, so this is not an alternative or optional solution but a mandatory and continual commitment to be asking God for this wisdom. If our tests do not motivate us to take a closer walk with God and engage in a deeper prayer life, then, since this is His primary tool for teaching, He is likely to continue and/or intensify these tests until we are driven to the throne of grace and until we get an “ear attentive to wisdom” and commit our “heart to understanding” (Prov 2:2). There is nothing God wants to give us more than an understanding of His thought process. If you are seeking His wisdom, you will find it.

“Lord Jesus, I need Your wisdom to get through each day and to honor You. I am grateful that I can ask a thousand times a day and You will answer.” 

In order to practice this command today, I am going to …

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