To Grow Wise In Face Of Trials
- We should pray because we are spiritually stronger for praying.
- We should pray because it brings peace and security as we entrust our self to God and pour out our anxious thoughts.
- We should pray to stand firm in the face of temptation.
- And today, we need to pray, because, through prayer, we grow wise in the face of trials. And perhaps this is among the most significant reasons.
The immense value of gaining godly wisdom:
- I Kings 3 – The Lord to Solomon: “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” (verse 5). Solomon answered, “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people, that I may discern between right and wrong. For whom is able to govern this great people of yours?” (verse 9). “The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.” (vs. 10)
- Proverbs 2:6 – “For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
- James 3:13-18, James differentiates between wisdom that comes down from heaven, and wisdom that is earthly, unspiritual, and of the devil. Worldly wisdom results in envy, selfish ambition, disorder, and every evil practice. Wisdom from above, on the other hand, is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, it’s impartial and sincere.
- I Thessalonians 5:21 – “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
Asking For Wisdom:
- “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” (vs. 2)
- Why consider trials as a cause for joy? Because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance. “Perseverance must finish its work so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (vs. 3)
God doesn’t allow these trials as a means to _________________ down or destroy our faith – but to ________________ our faith. (note verses 13-18)
- “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will
be given to him.” (vs. 5)
Wisdom is more than knowledge. Knowledge has facts. Wisdom knows what to do with facts. Someone said knowledge is raw information; wisdom knows how to use it. Another said that knowledge is the ability to take things apart; wisdom is the ability to put things together. I don’t think those definitions exhaust the subject, but they’re helpful.
To receive wisdom, we simply _______________ of God. (James 1:5-7)
- God will give _______________________. (NIV) Some versions say, “liberally.”
- He gives without _______________ ________________.
- We must ask in _____________________. (Verses 6-8)
QUESTIONS & EXERCISES
For Daily Devotionals or Bible Study Group
- Of the reasons given to pray in this series (see below), which do you feel in most need of at present? Why? Write out a prayer for that particular concern.
• For strength
• For security and peace
• For resistance to temptation
• For wisdom
- If you had put this series together, what reasons for prayer would you include that were not covered? How has your prayer life grown through this series?
- How would you define “wisdom” if asked? What are some of the ways that worldly, or earthly wisdom, is different from wisdom that comes from above (read and carefully consider James 3:13-18? How can we tell if we are operating by wisdom from above?
- If you were asked to tell a younger person why wisdom is of higher value than money, possessions, or power, what would you tell them? What are some reasons that God was so pleased with Solomon for asking for wisdom (Read I Kings 3:1-10)?
- What trials or challenges are you facing today that you can seek God’s wisdom concerning? Take time to list and pray for wisdom in each trial.