Decidedly Academic. Distinctively Christian.
Isn’t it amazing how God speaks to us when we are open to reading and studying God’s Word?
The writer of the study I’m reading feels that the book of James is about living a life of genuine faith. For the first week we studied verses 1-12. These verses deal with James telling us that genuine faith perseveres in trial. James explains that we, as Christians, should expect persecution. God does not require us to be joyful about persecution, because even Jesus felt suffering before the cross, but rather “count it all joy” verse 2. Trials mature us by teaching us to hate our sin and to long for Heaven.
The verse that touched me the most was verse 5 in James 1 ESV, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.” God has the ultimate wisdom and will give wisdom to anyone who asks.
We have all gone through trials of some kind. Most, if not all, of us are going through a trial of some kind right now. I know that I have had my share of trials and I am currently still going through one. When going through a trial I pray to God, I ask for the situation to be fixed, for healing, patience, and/or knowledge. Just give me the facts God! I want to know how I can fix my problem! However after studying this verse I realize that there is a difference between asking for knowledge (give me the facts) versus asking for wisdom (taking the facts and making the right choice).
As parents I think our prayer life probably increases. I know when my oldest son was going through the very long process of potty training (because we all love that trial), that I would pray for God to just make my son potty trained. I didn’t ask God for wisdom on how to help my son through this process. When he was struggling at school, I would ask God to make him behave better, not for wisdom on how to help/discipline him. In the past when I have struggled through a situation as a teacher, I would ask for God to make things better in my classroom, not for God to give me wisdom to be a better teacher. When I have gone through tough times with my husband, I ask God to make my husband understand and be a better/perfect husband (we know we are all guilty of this as wives). I don’t ask for God to give me the wisdom o be a better wife or the wisdom to support/encourage my husband.
We want our trials to be fixed and fixed right now. However the plain and simple fact is that our timing is not God’s timing. That does not mean we need to sit around and be idle. The trial may not end when you want it to but God will help you persevere through it if you put your full trust in Him.
What about asking God for wisdom in general? There are many parents who are trying to decide whether their child should start Kindergarten next year or whether to keep them in pre-k another year. Or what about transitional kindergarten? Or public vs private school? Although we can collect all the facts surrounding a situation sometimes they might be hard to decipher. I believe the best thing we can do is ask God to give us wisdom on decisions such as these.
So how will you pray? Will you lean on this truth from God that He will give wisdom to all who ask? I challenge myself and you to not only pray for the facts but to pray for wisdom amongst your trials.
– Mrs. Annie Culbertson, Preschool Teacher