Everyone will agree that we all need the wisdom of God in our lives. “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom…” (Proverbs 4: 7). And wisdom is the fear of Yahweh (Job 28:28). “Fear” here is “reverential awe” in the Hebrew.
The apostle James says, “If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God who gives liberally and upbraids not” (1:5). This comes directly after verse three and four where he speaks of “patience.” We need wisdom, yes. And we need to ask Him for it. But we must be careful what we ask for, for He will send wisdom disguised as trials of your faith. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (1:3). These trials will cause us to go through suffering.
This is extremely important. Those of us called to “go on unto perfection” must realize that there are sufferings needed in our lives for us to grow spiritually “until Christ be formed in [us].”
But here is the rub; very few want to suffer with Christ to reign with Him. Paul said that he suffered “as an evildoer.” But he endured—patience was forming inside his heart—through the sufferings (2 Tim. 2:2). Very few desire the trials. It is counterintuitive. We think, Isn’t God supposed to deliver us from pain and sorrow and suffering? And, Why do good Christian people suffer?
Furthermore, many do not even believe that God works that way. What way is that? Most Christians don’t believe that God will love them enough to chasten them, and yet the Word says that if you endure chastening of the Lord, then God will deal with you as sons (Heb. 12:5-11). Patience is translated “endurance” in several places. If we endure Christ’s correction and chastening, then we will grow. This is part of the experience of adding patience.
“Let patience have her perfect work…” (James 1:4). Patience/endurance brings forth a maturity in us. Trials and tribulations are painful but necessary for our spiritual growth. We tend to shun the very experiences that will bring about those changes because they are painful. This is why Christians remain children and not fathers of the faith like Paul, Peter, James and John.
Who among us would sincerely pray for patience to be added, knowing that we are asking God for trials of our faith? No child of God would, for a spiritual child wants to just feel good and be happy in the Lord. A “babe in Christ” is mostly alive for what blessings they can receive from God to ease the pain and suffering of earthly existence. When God’s elect receive the light concerning these necessary additions to the faith, they will begin to surrender to this phase of God’s spiritual growth in them.
Finally, because of all this, Paul says, “We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience” (Romans 5: 3). We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance [patience]” (Romans 5:3 KJV, ESV).
Enduring the fiery trials produces a jewel called “Wisdom.” If you desire her “and search for her as for hid treasures,” then you will understand “the fear of the LORD.” With wisdom, you will understand “having reverential awe of Yahweh.” To be in awe of Yahweh–that is wisdom. Let us ask Him for wisdom; He will deliver.
Kenneth Wayne Hancock
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