Draw Near to God_

Ask God for Wisdom

James 1:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproaching,[1] and it will be given to him.

But if any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God, (1:5a)

THE BOOK OF JAMESIf there were any believers, who were having difficulty understanding their trials James tells them what they are to do. James says if any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God. When James refers here to wisdom he is not talking about a mere intellectual wisdom. It is wisdom, which comes from God and having a reverential fear of displeasing him, which is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 1:7) The proper understanding therefore of Godly wisdom is that one then puts the wisdom in practical use in everyday life. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 2:6, “For the Lord gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” When James says any of you in this passage, he is referencing specifically to the believers that God was allowing to go through trials. He is not talking to just anyone in general that they can ask for wisdom but in context those Christians that were enduring the trails. Nevertheless, all Christians are to ask God for wisdom. However, if undergoing a trial, we need to be specific in the wisdom that we are seeking.

James tells these believers if they lacked the wisdom to understand the trials then go to the one who could give them the discernment and wisdom in regard to the trial. God was sovereign over the trials in allowing the trial to happen, and then he would be the only one to go to for us to correctly understand as to the nature of the trial. The Greek word that James uses for “ask” is the word aiteo which means to “beg or request.” (Vine, 1996, pg. 40) The believers were to ask of God that they understand their trials for some insight and guidance to see how allowing the trial was a part of God’s plan and how it applied to their life.

We see from Scripture an example of God answering those in their trial with Solomon who asked God to help him to be able to lead the nation he had become the leader of (1 Kings 3:9). David, a man familiar with trials, wrote in (Psalms 55:22) “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you, He will never allow the righteous to be forsaken.” Peter also wrote in (I Peter 5:6-7) “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”

who gives to all generously without finding reproaching and it will be given to him (1:5b)

Here James states an important, significant, and weighty promise that will happen to the believers that called upon God in the midst of the trial for wisdom. The promise he says is that God will give wisdom to those who seek the Lord for it. James assures that promise by stating that God gives to all generously without finding reproach. James makes it clear that not only will God give wisdom to those who ask but also he will do so with generosity. In other words, God desires to give believers wisdom and understanding to discern accurately the trials they were enduring. The word that James uses here for reproach is the Greek word oneidezo which means to “defame, reproach, or disgrace (Vine, 1996, pg. 526).” It did not matter the nature of the situation or the background these believers may have come from if they called upon God for wisdom, it will be given to him. We should not expect what Abraham David, Solomon, Elijah or Nehemiah received. Our primary wisdom for how to deal with trials is not going to come miraculously, but rather through the Word of God. If we do not take in that lifesaving knowledge, how can we make wise decisions, as it is the very knowledge of God?

[1] Without criticizing