BY ANDY FREEMAN, PROGRAM DIRECTOR DINING AT THE WISDOM BUFFET
So often in our lives as believers, we ask the Lord for many things to help us or someone in our intercession. We might pray for divine healing, deliv- erance from depression, comfort for our- selves or another in time of grief. Praying for a new job, a raise or a financial blessing is not unusual. Too many preachers and teachers today can make Jesus sound like a guaranteed lottery ticket: “just give your money, claim what you want, and get ready to receive it into your life.” These types of teaching and promises lead to disappoint- ment and have sent many people away from the church filled with resentment. When we look at the book of James we find interesting advice. We are told the fol- lowing in the first chapter:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking any- thing. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to
hen was the last time you were at church, a Bible study, or your pri- vate devotions and prayed for
all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that celebrating the tri- als of life as “pure joy” is no small task. If you look forward to trials, you should really be a lawyer or a judge.
source of the joy:
That said, the next two verses reveal the the testing of our faith
that God allows in our lives molds our per- severance—and that perseverance must fin- ish maturing us so that we are “complete, not lacking anything.” It’s the finishing of our faith that will allow the Lord to call upon us in any situation: to depend on us in any task or assignment for His kingdom. That is a high calling, my friends. But now to verse five. We are not told to
pray for money, a miracle, or deliverance from what we are facing. We are encouraged that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God. Even better, we are told He gives wis- dom generously without finding fault. There is no “here ya go, dummy” or “why would I waste my time and wisdom on you?” in God’s world. There is only divine
wisdom in buffet portions. Traveling on Jewish Voice medical mis-
sions, I have observed doctors, nurses and dentists when they come to a dead end. Their tools, time, or abilities cannot bring a solution for the malady a person is facing. In these times I have been so amazed at how those volunteer medi- cal pros turn to prayer for God’s wisdom. And He has supplied it! Sometimes, it’s almost like watching an episode of the old TV pro- gram “MacGyver.” They suddenly say, “What if we used this item in place of the one we are missing?. What if we altered the procedure to this method?” And the Lord becomes the Advising Physi- cian or Dentist, bringing about the needed touch in the patient’s life. It’s no different for us as
butchers, bakers or candlestick makers.
Isn’t it time we take the book of James at face value?
Next time you are in an uncomfortable or challenging place where the Lord is refining you: don’t ask for relief or a flaming chari- ot—ask Him for His wisdom to come through and triumph over the adversity you face. See if James 1:5 leads you to becoming a joyful, mature and complete believer, lacking nothing in your life. Here’s to all the godly wisdom you need in any situation!
Please visit our website, jewishvoice.org
for a multitude of opportunities to get involved and triumph! Join an upcoming outreach on our medical team or as an intercessor—or stand with us financially and in prayer. Ask the Lord how He would have you serve to enlarge His Kingdom. Your Wisdom Buffet is prepared and waiting!
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26 | Jewish Voice Today JULY/AUGUST 2010
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