“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you…” (James 1:5)
How good is a guarantee? In the maze and whirlwind of the choices and decisions we make, so many questions and doubts arise that we wonder what—or if something—will happen. The good news spoken of in this verse, however, reminds God’s children of a number of essential truths we can rely on in any storm.
This verse starts out with an opportunity for the reader to consider if he or she lacks wisdom. Then it proceeds to give a precise suggestion about how to obtain wisdom. There is a tone of assurance in the writer’s prompting, confirming a source of direction for the person who might be lacking. Next, James brings our attention to the truth about who God is and that He generously gives wisdom to all without finding fault.
This is comforting for me as I think about painful times in my own life that I have been at fault and had no concern for wisdom. Throughout circumstances I’ve found myself to be guilty of one thing or another, and left feeling extremely bad about different things that have happened. Through it all, though, I’ve been reminded of God’s generous grace and truly abundant goodness to help and to redeem.
Throughout the Bible there are numerous examples of God’s generosity, especially in how He, “so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life…” In the same way here, God somehow chooses to not find fault with whoever might ask for wisdom and He gives it generously to that person.
I realize that I lack wisdom every day in many different ways. I certainly don’t naturally make the best choices, and to add to that, I’m never sure of what will happen each day, or how something will make me feel. All of these unknowns and uncertainties make for a dangerous combination if it weren’t for the wisdom which God gives, that far outweighs my own understanding and even whatever wisdom others might claim to have.
Ultimately a child of God can know that no matter what is going on, however much he or she is lacking wisdom or even at fault, God gives His wisdom generously and with full assurance. No form is required, no achievement is necessary—just ask. The One who made both heaven and earth has confirmed He is willing and desires to give the wisdom we lack and desperately need; that is truly a good guarantee.
- How have you experienced God’s generosity in the past?
- Are there times in your life where it seems like you especially lack wisdom?
Written by Geoffrey Hughes. Artwork by Katherine Yao