When I was in High School, I discovered a verse here in James 1 that I began to pray … totally out of context! James 1:5 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” I was not a great student. As a matter of fact, I did not take books home from school very often, and I almost never studied for a test. When I sat at my desk with that Algebra test before me, I would quote this verse, and tell God that I was depending on Him to give me all the answers.
Of course, that is not what this verse means at all! Remembering what James has been talking about in James, chapter 1. He began by speaking to those reading his letter by telling them to look back on all that God had been doing through their trials and have joy in those trials. He then gives them this instruction in verse 5. If you lack wisdom in being able to have joy in your trials, all you need to do is ask God. God is liberal in giving wisdom. He has all the wisdom there is in the world. He will not hold back in giving out His wisdom.
Beyond that, God upbraideth not, when giving wisdom. That literally means that He does not rebuke a person for asking for wisdom. He is not disappointed when we come to Him and ask. When God spoke to Solomon in I Kings 3, He asked him what he would like Him to give him. Solomon asked for wisdom. God did not scold Solomon for asking for wisdom, but instead, God praised him for such a wise request. God was so pleased with Solomon asking for wisdom rather than riches, long life, or promotion, He told Solomon that he would have all those things as well as wisdom.
I need God’s help in having wisdom to know how to deal with the trials and the blessings of life. I need to learn the lessons God wants to teach me in trials of my life. I need the wisdom of God to be able to learn these lessons well. When trials come my way, I need to ask God for wisdom to learn all the truths He wants me to learn in them. I typically beg God to remove the trial soon after it comes. God does not want me to ask for an escape route from my trials. He does want to teach me lessons through my trials.
Today, I want to ask God for help. I want to learn the lessons that only come in trials. I don’t want to miss anything God has for me to learn in the middle of my trials. However, I realize that if that is going to happen, it will be because God gives me the wisdom that I need. Like Solomon, I need the help of God … and I think you might too. Ask the Lord Who gives!