We all hope for maturity and wisdom. But unfortunately, wisdom isn’t just gifted; it is earned, usually through pain. Even through pain and trials, we are to be thankful to the Lord for the trials–and rejoice. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:16-18)
“When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character, men of integrity with no weak spots.” (James 1:2–4 Phillips) By accepting life’s tests and temptations as friends—by allowing them to enter our private world and produce the rare quality of endurance—we become people “of mature character.” There is no shortcut. The idea of instant endurance is nonsense. The pain brought on by interruptions and disappointments, by loss and failure, by accidents and disease, by changes and surprises, is the long and arduous road to maturity. There is no other road.
But where does wisdom come in? It comes through the God-ordained painful surprises of life when we lean out the window and yell, “Help!” That’s not my idea. The apostle James said so in verse 5: “And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask God—who gives generously to all men without making them feel guilty—and he may be quite sure that the necessary wisdom will be given him.” (1:5 Phillips) The NLT is more succinct: “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.”
Periodically, we will find ourselves at a loss to know what to do or how to respond—that’s when we ask for help. At those junctures, God delivers more than intelligence . . . much more than clever ideas and good ol’ common sense. He dips into His well of wisdom and allows us to drink from His bucket.
I cannot fully describe the benefits of receiving the refreshment our Lord provides, but among them would be abilities and insights that are of another world. Perhaps it would best be stated as tapping into “the mind of Christ.” To borrow from Paul’s words: “We do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths . . . for we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:13, 16 NLT)
I don’t know where all this finds you as you read these words. But I have a sneaking suspicion that you, too, have a few intruders of pain crowding into your life—and you could use some divine reinforcement to help you endure. If so, say so. Don’t hesitate to call on God for help. Tell your Father that you are running out of strength and energy and hope . . . that your mind is getting foggy and you need fresh insight from the Word of God . . . from the mind of Christ. He is waiting to give His wisdom to you.
But when you ask, heed the next few verses in James: “But he must ask in sincere faith without secret doubts as to whether he really wants God’s help or not. The man who trusts God, but with inward reservations, is like a wave of the sea, carried forward by the wind one moment and driven back the next. That sort of man cannot hope to receive anything from God, and the life of a man of divided loyalty will reveal instability at every turn.” (James 1:6-8)
And then remember to thank the Lord for your trial. When we go through trials accepting the Lord’s wisdom, we will mature in Christ. The maturity won’t be there before the trial, so we must thank Him for not only the trial but for Jesus Christ being the overcomer: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Today I am thankful for the trials the Lord has allowed me, especially in the last few months. And I am so grateful for the wisdom He has given me to go through those trials. While it is difficult to be thankful while going through the muck, what is on the other side is peace and joy. So even while in the muck, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4)
Source: How God Gives You Wisdom