Week 11: James and the Fatherless
Day 1: The Source of Wisdom
[Ed. Note – This was written several weeks ago…]
Before I crawled out of bed this morning, I already had a specific need for wisdom that wasn’t there when I got into bed last night… that is the nature of orphan ministry. When I think back over the last eighteen years of ministry to all the moments that required almost immediate answers, I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry! From decisions regarding finances and everyday needs, to interpersonal relationships, to children stealing from one another, we never know what is around the next corner! But we always have a source to which we can run when the need arises.
Like patience, wisdom is a great need in times of trial. James was aware of that and made a specific point of reminding his readers where to go when they lacked wisdom: “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.” (James 1:5) What a reassuring promise!
It is very easy to go around asking others what to do and leave God until the very end. Counsel is good, but God is the ultimate source of wisdom, after all, He created every person we could ever go to for wisdom. He wants to guide us, His wisdom is there for the asking, and He has promised to give it.
I recently joined LinkedIn, a business social networking platform. I’d been invited many times and finally took the plunge. It’s entirely new to me. I find myself going in, there staring at the page, and thinking, “Now what? I have no clue what I’m supposed to do.” So I decided to google “How to effectively use LinkedIn”. I found a pretty interesting article about someone who has made a business of helping others learn how to use it. He will gladly give you the information you need and teach you the ins and outs of the platform… for a price.
God doesn’t sell His wisdom. He gives it. And He doesn’t give it sparingly. He gives it liberally. He gives it with no strings attached. He just wants us to ask Him for it. Beyond that, He only has one requirement: that we ask in faith.
God isn’t grumpy about giving out His wisdom either. More times than I can count, I have seen children approach an adult with a question only to be yelled at and pushed away. God doesn’t handle things that way. He “upbraideth not”. He does not reproach us for coming to Him. In fact, later in the book of James, He tells us “Draw night to God, and he will draw nigh to you…” (James 4:8)
Wisdom is so important, that most of the book of Proverbs is dedicated to it. God greatly honored Solomon for requesting wisdom over riches or fame. Wisdom is so important that when the church in Jerusalem was choosing men to lead their ministry to the widows, they sought out men who were full of wisdom: “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” (Acts 6:3)
I have seen grown men, strong men, brought to tears over the needs and struggles of orphan ministries. Wisdom is vital. How precious this promise: If we ask, He will give! How comforting to know that we serve The Only Wise God. (1 Timothy 1:17, Jude 25)
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:7,8)
Need wisdom? Just ask.