by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
Keynote Speaker, CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries
Wisdom is needed in times of uncertainty
Probably everyone would agree that 2020-2021 has been a time like no other in our lifetime. We’ve faced more things in these years than we would have ever thought to see. I’ve heard and seen where people are already putting up Christmas decorations — some to try to hurry this year along and hope for a better year next year and others to bring the joy of the holidays into a time full of uncertainty. Wherever there is uncertainty, we need wisdom to make that next step.
The best source of wisdom is our omniscient God
Since God created us, He knows everything about us. Our fears, our illnesses, the stress and anxiety we feel, as well as the things we celebrate. Because God is omniscient, there isn’t anything that happens in our world that He isn’t aware of. In fact, He knew COVID-19 would happen even when He was creating the Garden of Eden. So if we need to seek wisdom, God is the best place to go.
James’ words of wisdom
James, the half-brother of Jesus (typically considered the author of the book of James in the New Testament), wrote “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who give to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting.” (James 1:5-6). Regardless of what we face in life, we can pray for God to grant wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in every situation.
Seeking spiritual wisdom
Asking God for wisdom does not just apply to uncertain times. We can also ask God to help us understand a Biblical principle of which we can’t seem to quite grasp the full understanding. We can also ask God to help us as we try to learn a new task at work or when we need wisdom in making a major life decision, such as moving, taking a new job, or making a big purchase.
No matter what we seem to lack wisdom in, God tells us to ask him for it. After all, God is the one who created the universe and set everything into motion. If anyone understands the things we have a hard time grasping, its God. All the scientific laws may be named after the scientists that discovered them, but they did not create the those laws….God did when he created the world. So why not go to the One who knows it better than anyone else? He is the one who can open our minds and help us see something we didn’t see before or to clear out the confusing thoughts so that we can grasp what’s true. He the one who can give us ears to hear as things are explained to us in a way that understanding breaks through.
God gives wisdom generously
James also tells us in this verse that God gives wisdom generously. Liberally. He is a big-hearted God and he stands by ready to grant us the wisdom we need. However, the key is to first recognize the need and then to ask God for it. The Greek word for “liberally” is haploos and it means “bountifully” (Strong’s Concordance). So when we ask, He doesn’t just measure it by teaspoon fulls. He dumps it on…as much as we need for the purpose we are asking.
God gives wisdom without criticizing
God doesn’t just give us wisdom generously, but he also does it without criticizing. When I was in school, I was one of the shy kids and would have never raised my hand and asked a question because I didn’t want to look dumb to the other students in the class. In college, when I took a required (trust me! If it wasn’t required, I would not have taken the class!) speech class and before every speech I had to give, I spent time “tossing my cookies.” Most people thought of me as a very quiet person. But I was quiet because I was always worried about what someone else might think and then criticize me in some way. Those who knew me then and now, often wonder whatever happened to the quiet girl.
I’m not shy like that anymore. I am far from quiet. But, I am still glad that God does not criticize when I ask him for help to understand something. He doesn’t roll His eyes in exasperation. There is no long, drawn out sigh of frustration. Instead, He is the loving father who created us and already knows the limited capabilities of our minds. He’s like the parent who’s child is trying to learn to read and the parent picks the child up and sets her in his lap and helps her sound out each sound and put them together until she can read the word on her own. Then He celebrates with us when that “ah-ha” moment comes and we “get it.”
When we ask God for wisdom, we will receive it
James also tells us that when we ask for wisdom, we will receive it. There is no “maybe” or “if God isn’t busy with something else” or “He’ll think about it and get back to us next week.” No. When we ask for wisdom, God will give it. Because we know that God keeps his promises and He will do what He says He will do, we can ask in confidence, with faith. There is no need to doubt. Psalm 5:3 tells us that God hears our voice as we plead our case to Him and then we are to watch expectantly.
What do you need wisdom for? Go ahead and ask God to give it you, then expect Him to give it to you. He is a God who loves to generously give us good gifts.
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8 FREE Downloadable Resources
Joy To The World: A 25-Day Advent Bible Reading Plan
Advent is the time where we anticipate with great joy the coming of our Savior. Before Jesus’ birth, people anticipated his arrival as the Messiah. Today, we anticipate His coming again as our victorious, risen, Sovereign, King of kings! In this 25-day Advent Bible reading plan, you get 13 pages with Scripture from the Holman Christian Standard Bible included. The Reading Plan includes four themes as you focus on preparing for the Christmas holiday celebration: Christ is Coming, Christ is Here, Christ will Give, Christ will Come Again. Each day between December 1-25, start your day with the Scripture provided and spend time meditating on what God will say to you through His Word and allow Him to fill your heart with joy this season.[Download not found]
Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template
Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.[Download not found]
What Satan Does Not Want You To know
This trifold document includes Scripture verses that Satan does not want you to know about. As you hide these verses in your heart, you’ll be able to defeat the lies of Satan when he tries his wiles and schemes on you.[Download not found]
We all face stress. How we handle stress, however, has many variables. Learning how to recognize stress, coping with stress, and creating a self-care plan during times of stress can begin by journaling. Taken from our series on Biblical self-care for people in ministry, we’ve created this free download to help you through the things that cause you stress.[Download not found]
2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan
We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.[Download not found]
The Path to Sin
Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.[Download not found]
One Year Bible Reading Plan
With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out![Download not found]
The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.
Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position (paid staff or volunteer) and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.[Download not found]
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You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce
What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:
- Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
- Conversation Starters.
- Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
- Romance Builders.
- Relationship Builders.
- Personal reflections.
- Date ideas.
- Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.
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