Wisdom and Patience are two different things. However, you canít have one without the other. Think about it. Wisdom comes from having patience and Patience gives us wisdom. However they come with a common denominator in the form of faith. In James chapter 1, we see that he gets into how faith works patience and has a perfect work, which is complete, (3-4). Verses 5 and 6 tell us, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him as in faith, not wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed," Verse 7 says, "For let not that man think, or assume, that he shall receive any thing of the Lord."
Wisdom is something I really wished I had a whole lot more of. I can remember when they said that a gray headed man had lots of wisdom, but Iíve got plenty of gray hair and I donít really consider myself wish. Many other people consider themselves wise, but truthfully, they are lacking in that area. When wisdom is talked about, Christians usually think of Solomon right of the bat. Solomon was given wisdom, because he asked for it. However, Solomon did not always use his wisdom wisely. In a wise move, I can remember the story of two women saying that a baby was theirs. One woman had taken the other womanís baby to declare as hers when she lost her own child. To settle the argument, Solomon finally said to cut the baby in half and each of them could have half of it. One lady was all for it, but the real mother said no. The one that said Ďno,í was given her baby back. In a not so wise move, on more than one occasion, Solomon chose to marry women who were idol worshippers. He did not seek Godís will like he should. He made wrong decisions. Most honest men today would readily admit that they have made wrong decisions in their life. Two decisions I made wrong in mine, among many wrong decisions, are that I ran from the ministry for 14 years, because of menís beliefs, which had been taught to me. The other decision I made that was wrong, in my opinion, was that I probably didnít take my only pastorate as important as I needed too. I didnít apply myself as much as I should, and therefore may have been a key instrument as Satanís tool to push some away from church. The important small things may have been overlooked. Solomon said, in Ecclesiates 12:13, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of men." He could have possibly said, "for this is the whole duty of wise men." Thatís not what it says though.
James, in this writerís opinion, was a wise man too. He wrote things in this book that will help Christians in our daily and spiritual lives if we will just study it. Letís see what he has to tell us in these verses considering wisdom and faith. There are some key things in these scripture that show us how we should seek wisdom.
WE SHOULD ASK GOD FOR WISDOM vs. 5a
In verse 7, James tells us that we shouldnít think or assume that the Lord is just going to give us anything. Now, we all know that the Lord takes care of us with material things and He keeps His protective hands around us. However, I also believe we just assume that HE will continue to do that too. We should be thankful for what HE does give us and not just pretend that it was us all the time. Some men have this idea that they earn things themselves. However, man doesnít earn anything: he is given things, or the Lord allows man to have things. Wisdom is there for the asking. A rule of thumb is to never ask God for patience. However, we can ask God for wisdom. We know they go together. We know that God will provide it to us if we just ask. Wisdom can teach of patience with a lot less heartache.
WISDOM IS GIVEN GENEROUSLY OR OPEN HANDED. VS 5B
When men ask for wisdom, God is open handed and more than generous in giving it to them. He gives it to him freely. I love to eat at a certain cafť, on a daily basis. However, as much as I like the chicken fried steak, I am only allowed to eat what I pay for. Itís not free. Buffets are a little more generous, but you still have to pay for the food you eat. In the quest for wisdom, all a man has to do is ask for it. When we ask for wisdom, not only does the Lord give it to us, HE doesnít criticize us, or look down on us, for asking. The KJV of the Bible says, "upbraideth not." The Lord doesnít criticize us for asking for wisdom, and He gives it to us freely. What a blessing! However, there are conditions for us when we ask for wisdom.
WISDOM IS GIVEN TO A MAN WHEN HE ASKS FOR IT BY FAITH, AND DOESNíT WAVER. VS. 6
The Merriam Ė Websterís Collegiate Dictionary defines the word Ďwaveringí as to hesitate as if to about to give away. We could look at this a couple of ways, I think. People waver in their faith all the time. Christians love to say, "I have faith in the Lord," but do we really? A good example of not working faith can be found as close as this writer. I tell people I have faith in God, but I donít always prove that faith. My wife and I have found a brand new manufactured home, or commonly known a mobile home, that we really want. However, the land we wanted to buy, and shook hands with the man on, fell through. This wasnít necessarily the manís fault, and Iím not blaming him, but Becky and I have not been able to find the land that best suits us. It seems like every door is shut. Even though both of us have prayed for land, itís either too high or too much land. This can cause me, or any man, to waver on his faith. We might say, "Well God just isnít going to give this to us." Iím just going to give up on it, because itís not going to happen. Thatís wavering on faith. Another way to look at it would be to waver on whether we really want the wisdom or not. Like a lot of things, wisdom brings responsibility. The biggest responsibility would be that of being wise with the wisdom God gives to us. Those are things just to think about. James goes on to say that a man who wavers is like a wave of the sea, which is driven with the wind and tossed. When we waver on our faith in God we can open doors for Satan to enter. He is always looking for way to defeat a Christian, and one way to make them feel defeated is by causing them to loose their faith in the Lord. We are driven by forces unseen. Paul said, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Eph. 6:12)
WE SHOULD ASK FOR WISDOM AND NOT ASSUME WE JUST GET IT. (VS 7)
Men just automatically believe that God is bound to us, because we are saved, and has to just give us things. This is a lie. God doesnít owe us anything. He doesnít have to give us anything. We should assume that God is just going to give us wisdom. We also need to understand that patience comes through wisdom, which in turn comes through trials and tribulation. Men, for the most part, can learn patience and grow in wisdom from tough times. A lot of men can teach others from the heartaches, pains, and suffering that they have suffered. However, we have to have an ear to hear by. We can learn a lot for older adults if we just pay attention. However, we need to understand that a lot of the things we learn in this world come from trial and error in our own lives. That is were patience comes in, and faith is the common denominator to wisdom. By faith Abraham took Isaac to make Isaac a sacrifice, and by faith Abraham told the servant to hold the donkeys until him and Isaac returned. Abraham learned his wisdom from trial and error, but he also learned that God would not fail. Abraham got his wisdom from having faith in the Lord.
SOMETHING TO REMEMBER
Always remember the next time you think to yourself, "I wished I had more patience," to ask God for wisdom. Through wisdom, you can learn patience with a lot less of the trials and tribulations. However, you must always remember that the key to both, wisdom and patience is faith. We need to remember what we are told in Hebrews 11:6. "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." James said, "Faith without works is dead." James 2:20. What is faith? "Now faith is the substance of thing hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen." (Heb. 11:1). The stronger our faith becomes in God, the wiser we will become; and patience will follow. Faith is the common denominator when it comes to Ďwisdom verses patience.í May the Lord grant us all the wisdom we ask for, and May we all grow in our faith.