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Graphic with James 1:5-9 on it with varying shades of blue background.

As a kid, were you ever told you asked too many questions? It happened to me all the time! I suspect it wouldn’t have been a big problem if people would have been able to answer them easily. Or if they didn’t feel rushed with a lot to do…or the many other excuses given as to why they couldn’t take time to answer the questions of an unimportant little girl.

The resources for our answers

Fortunately, God isn’t like that. He never tells us we ask too many questions or that our questions are too intrusive, or even that we are unimportant to Him. In fact, He tells us that if we need wisdom, we should ask for it and He will not only give it to us, but He will give it generously and won’t  put us down for asking. I love that. I mean, how else are we supposed to get the wisdom we need?

Does that mean we will get immediate answers from the sky? NO. But He has given us the Bible and many answers there. He has given us the church where we have the preaching of the Word that often gives us answers as we are looking. He has given us the community of Christians in the church where we also receive answers. These aren’t always perfect, but they move us in the direction we need to move. As Christians, we also have the Holy Spirit who guides us and moves us forward. In my experience, the answers come slowly over time. They don’t come at once. But God slowly unfolds the wisdom I need over a period of time. I’m able to test it out to be sure it it true.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James 1:5-8 ESV

This interim series on ways God is different from us is eye-opening isn’t it? How often do you feel the need for wisdom? Dealing with your children, grandchildren, spouse? Dealing with work situations? Dealing with relationships in all kinds of settings? Dealing with all kinds of decisions?

But I learned this is especially talking about wisdom in the middle of trials

When I looked back in the context, I was reminded that this is especially talking about wisdom from God in the middle of having trials. When you are in the middle of trials, think of all the questions that are generated in your mind, especially to God! He can handle them. Of course, not all of your questions are reverent or edited. Do you honestly think He is only aware of the edited versions of your questions? There was a time when on some level I thought so, even though I would never have put it that way.

It is so weird how we say we believe one way, but we so often live another way. In other words, we say we believe God knows everything (and He does) but we play this pretend game with ourselves as if He doesn’t really know what we are thinking until we get our words all edited in the way we want Him to hear…particularly when we are angry with what He is allowing us to go through!

Here are the earlier verses that give the context I was talking about.

 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4 ESV

There is so much He is doing in the middle of trials. How often have you looked back a year or two or five after a major trial in your life to see all the ways it affected you positively? I have found it affects me in places I never expected. In the middle of it all, I don’t see the changes happening, but later, I realize there are things that don’t bother me like they once did. There is a compassion I develop for others that I didn’t have years earlier. There is a patience that grows as well as hope and trust in my Heavenly Father who has been with me during the trial, The fruit that grows from trials is something we are glad about later, but usually have no desire to live through again. It is often too painful. even traumatic.

I am so thankful that God uses so many ways to grow us, yes, even trials, during our life here on earth. When He is finished with this part of our growth, He will take us to heaven. But there is so much to our growth, for many of us, it will take 80 or 90 years. Blessings to you as you grow in grace and wisdom. And understand that He is willing to give both generously.