If Any Of You Lacks Wisdom – A Devotional From The Letter of James

In devotional, The General Letters Devotionals by S. L. OzbunLeave a Comment

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that person ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8

Christians today have little trouble praying and asking God for worldly needs. We pray for health, we pray for financial miracles, we pray for loved ones and our careers. None of these things are necessarily wrong, but unfortunately, if we are not careful, we will find our prayers filled with nothing more than selfish desires and empty requests. We make the mistake of thinking that our lives would be more fulfilled and joyful if God would only get on board and see that we need these things in order to be happy.

However, instead of these carnal-minded prayers, what we ought to be praying for is the precious gift of wisdom. I’m reminded of the great King Solomon, who was blessed beyond measure. When asked by the Father of all creation what he wanted, he simply asked for wisdom. He didn’t ask for money, fame, or power, but wisdom that he might rightly rule over the nation of Israel. This was pleasing in the ears of God and as a result, King Solomon was blessed with all of the above. (1 Kings 3:5-15) Similarly, Jesus tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and our earthly needs will be met. (Matthew 6:33)

King Solomon wrote often about the importance of seeking wisdom over worldly knowledge and power. Many of his proverbs were about this wisdom.

Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:6-7 KJV.

The question then becomes, how do we obtain this wisdom for which the Bible speaks so highly? According to the Apostle James, brother of Jesus, and key leader of the early Church in Jerusalem, we must simply ask God.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 NSAB.

God loves it when His people seek His face, not just for their daily needs or wants, but when they come to Him for wisdom. After all, God is the source of all wisdom and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6-8)

However, when we seek God for His wisdom, we must seek it with great faith, believing that He truly is the source of this wisdom and furthermore, that He is truly willing and able to provide us with it. If we come before Him, already in a state of doubt, we waste our time. God cannot be pleased by unbelief. We must come to Him with real faith. (Hebrews 11:6)

But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:6 NSAB

Oh great God, provide us with wisdom and understanding that can only come from you. Give us faith Oh LORD, help our unbelief. Put your yoke upon us and lead us down the narrow path of righteousness. Remember your people Oh LORD and generously provide us with the wisdom we need to navigate these challenging times. Amen.

S. L. Ozbun
Shawn L. Ozbun is an independent podcaster, author, and commentator on many biblical topics. Shawn is a student of the scriptures, ancient writings, Dead Sea Scrolls, and biblical Hebrew language. Above all, Shawn is passionate about furthering the Kingdom of God, and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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