What does the wisdom of suffering look like?
What does it mean to have wisdom in the midst of suffering?
These are the main questions we have tried to answer throughout this series. By taking apart the first few verses of James and really dissecting them in the context of life and the scriptures, the Lord has truly given us some great revelation about the subject. Understanding and insight that I hope will allow us to look at suffering from a different perspective going forward. A Christ-like perspective.
And so, as we get to the end of this series we finally get to the point of it all: Wisdom.
“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God…”
As if there might be any of us that aren’t…!!! Sheesh, to think that there could even be people who do not lack wisdom is crazy. I mean, James, expressly says, that “if” there are any among you that lack wisdom, they should ask.
Contextually, some would say that because James is using the charaz form of Jewish wisdom speech, he has actually changed topic. In that he is now finished with suffering, and is specifically only talking about wisdom. But I think that even though he might be specifically focusing on wisdom and how one should understand asking for it, it is connected to his explanation on suffering. The reason I say that is because he specifically starts off with and explains that suffering is designed to form endurance within us which in turn matures us to be perfectly developed, without any defects, and lacking in nothing. That sounds like wisdom to me!
Hence, if I had to paraphrase his words I think they would sound like this:
“If you do not get what I have just said about ‘letting endurance have its full play in you’ and ‘counting it all joy when you encounter trials,’ then you need to ask God for Wisdom. You need to ask Him to develop within you this understanding. For it is imperative to becoming mature and fully developed as a follower of Christ.”
Thus, a wise disposition is recognising your lack of it, and then positioning yourself to receive it. And while we live in a world of difficulty and trial, the only way to sail it effectively is with the right wisdom. So in the next few posts we will look at how we can position ourselves to receive wisdom. Wisdom that God is eager to give us.
Lord, thank you that you overflow with wisdom. And that you are eager to pour it into our lives. I pray that we will learn how to ask for it. That we will learn to know you as a wise and loving God who we can trust daily for that which we need to live a life of victory in Christ. Amen