James 1:5-12 Asking God for wisdom       RD V.5-8


Intro: This section is connected to the previous one – on trials.

A) Two things to do in trials:

#1 Rejoice in the trial because we know that it is producing something


God uses the trial to mature us, to work in us


B) But times of trials can be like being in a Fog

1) Yesterday morning –after studying went down to the beach to walk and pray


C) Left my house{ Sunny} –Got to the beach foggy

1) Christian life can be that way- Sunny days


D) But When you are in the middle of the trial it is like the fog settles in

1) Prevents you from seeing things clearly


E) Here is what James says to do in those situations


#2 Ask for wisdom: - Not: God can you deliver me out of this – but God I need wisdom in the midst of this  

A) This is where we can struggle though/ sometimes in the middle of the trial so miserable don’t feel like praying


B) I want to crawl into bed – put on a movie and eat a ½ gallon of ice cream and forget all my problems

C) James says:– Go to the giving God, Ask for wisdom


For James, the Christian teacher with the Jewish background, wisdom is a practical thing.

A) It is not philosophic speculation and intellectual knowledge;


Aa) It is practical, it is concerned with the business of living.

Kent Hughes: “Wisdom is the ability to see your circumstances from God's perspective, the strength to stand firm trusting in the Lord, and the insight to take appropriate actions. In wisdom you see, stand, and act.”

B) Here is the Beauty of this: God says ask because I give liberally, without reproach.

1) Means God gives wisdom freely: without reservation "unconditionally and generously, without bargaining."


C) Gives it freely and He is not going to scold you –

1)”Oh it is you again – how many times are we going to do this.”


D) Struggled – maybe first reaction was to sulk – pity party – come to your senses

1) Go to God – He is not going to say: I saw how you responded yesterday: {enjoy the ice cream

We have a gracious God who desires to give us that wisdom we desire.

A) He gave us His Son without reservation– Will He not freely give us all things


B) Listen to these promises



1. Proverbs 2:2-6  

So that you incline your ear to wisdom,

    And apply your heart to understanding;

3    Yes, if you cry out for discernment,

    And lift up your voice for understanding,

4    If you seek her as silver,

    And search for her as for hidden treasures;

5    Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,

    And find the knowledge of God.

6    For the Lord gives wisdom;

    From His mouth comes knowledge & understanding;


2. Jeremiah 29:11-14 11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you, says the Lord,


3. Proverbs 3:5-8

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,And lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.  It will be health to your flesh,

And strength to your bones.


So God promises wisdom to those who ask – but there is a condition V.6 But let him ask in faith:

A) God is saying If I am going to give wisdom without reservation I want you to take what I am going to say without reservation.


B) Some pp don’t go to God – because they really don’t want to know what He is going to say.

1) They are afraid He is going to tell them something they are not willing to hear.


C) The root of the problem really has to do with their view of God.             Example


Suppose that you have a wealthy uncle whom you have asked on occasions to help you with some pressing need.


You probably would be hesitant to appeal to this uncle if another need arises. You would have to be at your last resort to make a phone call to him.


And why do you have this attitude toward him? It is because you believe that you will weary him by your asking or that he might find you offensive by such a dependence upon him.

Listen: If you are looking at God that same way, then you have a faulty view of God.

A) Sometimes we want to see what God is going to say first – see if we like it – before we respond


B) It doesn’t work that way: God will withhold information if we are unwilling to receive it without reservation


C) Ask without doubting: The word is used of Abe – He did not waver or stagger at the promise of God


D)) God says I love you – You are my Child come to me and I will give you wisdom but don’t stagger at the promise of God


E) Don’t stagger at My  love or at my ability to work in the midst of your circumstances or situation

1) God declares I am giving w/out reservation – I want you to receive w/out reservation


Now the Person who doesn’t want to do that, James says is Double minded – Like the waves of the sea

A) Up one day and down the next: Emotional roller coaster - all over the place


B) Picture of instability: Going to Crack !


C) So Ask in faith – God will give wisdom without reservation -


Question:   How does God Speak?

A) The word

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. The entrance of your words gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple.     Psalm 119:105, 130


B) Building project: that is where I am living – challenges – Financially – obstacles to overcome

1) Perplexing:


C) Morning Devos: Joel 2:18


Proverbs  3:9-10

Honor the LORD with your possessions,

And with the firstfruits of all your increase;

10 So your barns will be filled with plenty,

And your vats will overflow with new wine.


2 Chron 24  Wed night


Other ways God speaks

 B) Words of Knowledge and wisdom – Wed nites

Proverbs 25:11

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold

In settings of silver.”


C) Through others

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.     Proverbs 11:14


D) Where there is no counsel, people fall-or literally, stumble—in the dark.

But as I talk with my brothers, as I share with God’s people, the light shines through them in the counsel they give to me.


In our hearts

Paul says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart” (Colossians 3:15).


The word translated “rule” is an interesting one. A term linked to sports, it was used with regard to officiating or umpiring.


 In other words, the peace of Christ will call “Safe!” or “Out!” in your heart, giving you light and direction.


Through circumstances{ Open doors } Careful

Confirmation thru the Scriptures


 So this is what James wants us to Know: In trials Rejoice – working in us

A) Ask for wisdom: You don’t need to stay in  the dark –


B) Ask of God who gives to all men freely – without resentment: You can’t wear Him out

1) Never tires of our asking


C) Ask in faith: Willing hearts / yielded hearts / submitted and humble hearts

But another thing to keep in mind in the midst of the trials is the heavenly perspective: James is going to illustrate that in the following verses


Trials common to all of us – Finances

James 1:9-11


Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, 10 but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. 11 For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.


To the lowly brother – the poor – let him glory or rejoice in his exaltation

A) The fact that although he might be poor in an earthly sense – poor in the eyes of man


B) He can be rich in the eyes of God:

1) Jesus commended the poor widow – her two mites she gave more than them all.


C) Church of Smyrna Revelation 2:9

 "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich);


D) Phil / Smyrna – only ones  of the seven Churches who didn’t receive a rebuke

1) Earthly Poor but rich in the eyes of JESUS


To the rich – Here is the perspective that He wants them to have: Riches are temporal

A) Here today and gone tomorrow flower fades and the grass withers – so rich man …. His pursuits


B) Warning: If that is where his focus is – trouble

Can’t take it with you


C) Rich farmer: Not rich toward God


Flip side is the poor and the rich can receive the same reward from the Lord – if both are seeking the Lord in the midst of their trials


                           James 1:12


Blessed is the man who endures temptation; trial

for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.


To the man who meets trials in the right way there is joy here and hereafter. Endure= hang tough

A) Word approved- describes a metal which is cleansed of all alloy.


B) The weaknesses of his character are eradicated; and he emerges strong and pure.

1) In this life he becomes a man of sterling worth



Yes you are in trials and the good news is they will always be for the rest of your life.

A) In the world you will have Tribulation

     { Everyone is really edified now


B) But God says there is something that can Change: and it is not your circumstances, it is you


C) Problems will be constant from now until when the Lord comes back –

1) That is not going to change


But what can change is your PERCEPTION:

A) Your heart / your mind/ your faith / your trust in God that in every circumstance He is bringing it to an end that He desires


B) God wants to Change you: He wants your heart to be a bigger container for faith, For Love


C) There is a reward: A Crown


What is the crown? It is the crown of life; and that phrase means that it is the crown which consists of life.

A) There is far more than one thought here.


B) In the ancient world the crown (stephanos) had at least four great associations.



The crown of flowers was worn at times of joy, at wedding and at feasts.

A) The crown was the sign of festive joy.


B) Joy in knowing that the trials come to Pass!


C)The crown was the mark of honour and of dignity.

1)Pp who have gone through life experiences – Crown they can speak into others lives – earned that.


D)Couples who have raised their families in the Lord – gone thru some trials –

1)Their words carry more weight than the newlywed


The instructions of parents can bring a crown of grace to those who listen to them (Proverbs 1:9);


Wisdom provides a man with a crown of glory (Proverbs 4:9);


The next two speak of future reward:

A) The crown of laurel leaves was the victor’s crown in the games, the prize which the athlete coveted above all


B) Reward for faithful service – Finishing the race





The crown was the mark of royalty. It was worn by kings and by those in authority.


B) Rule and reign with Christ



Blessed are those who endure trials – Reward


Those who make it thru, rejoice!