Wisdom Requested – Wisdom Granted

James 1: 2 – 5

My inventory of needs is likely as long or longer than yours. Right up near the top of that need list is “wisdom.” I need it and am smart enough to know it. Do you realize a need for wisdom? If you answered “yes” that likely means you have some problems. James, the inspired writer, might have opened chapter 1 with verse 5.  However, he knew that before we would have a desire for wisdom, we had to recognize that we are confronted by trials too great for us alone. A realization of problems and trials brings about a recognition of a need for wisdom.

At a moment of such realization we can sing:

“When you are down and out

Lift up your head and shout – – –


In James 1: 2 the expression “count it all joy when you fall into various trials” is used. Trials are always unwanted, unexpected, and undesirable. You always look around to see if any one noticed, and there is always an audience. There is usually some buff who says something cute like, “Did you have a nice 

trip?  I’ll see you next fall.”

Jesus forewarned us, “In this world you are going to have tribulation…” We are slow learners and always seem surprised.

Because of the many problems and trials we have, the text states – – –

“IF any man lacks wisdom…” This doesn’t imply some don’t. The Greek first verb class condition means “If, and he does, lack wisdom…” 

The Greek word for “wisdom” is SOPHIA and it means “broad and full intelligence.”  It is a word for moral discernment that enables believers to live joyfully and victoriously in the face of trials.  It is the capacity to apply Bible knowledge to a given situation.  We all need it, but at no time more than when we are having problems.

This doesn’t mean that if you want to know how God is going to handle a situation, just ask. It means if you want to know how God wants you to handle it, ask Him. That statement has blood and muscle to it. Cut it and it bleeds.

Philemon, the Greek poet, describes God as “the lover of gifts.” This expression is used not in the sense of receiving gifts, but of giving them. God gives wisdom “liberally.” This adjective means the giving is “simple and single.” That is, He gives with a single motive. That is to benefit the asker. 

“Without reproach” is rendered “without making you feel foolish” in other translations. Some translate it, He “doesn’t upbraid,” that means “without finding fault.” If our heart is right toward Him, He doesn’t hold past failures against us.

So go to your knees and ask Him.

He gives it and doesn’t make us feel foolish for asking.