Q. Please help me to understand James chapter one. Do I correctly understand verse five to teach that all I have to do to receive the wisdom of Solomon is ask for it?
1* James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.
2* Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
3* knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
4* And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5* But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
6* But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
7* For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
8* being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
9* But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position;
10* and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away.
11* For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.
12* Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
I have heard many strange ideas coming out of this context. The first thing we need to notice is to whom James writes originally.
He was writing to Jewish Christians who were dispersed because of the persecution against the church. He tells those Christians that they (and we) should consider it Joy when we face trials. The first question I ask is why?
Why should I consider it JOY when I face trials? The answer is given here in verses three and four.
Trials produce patience and endurance and in the end help us to mature. This is not always seen while we are in the middle of trials. This is why James tells us to ask for wisdom. When we are in the middle of trials, and we are unable to see how they may benefit us, we are to ask God to give us wisdom so that we may understand our circumstances.
In The context “wisdom” is a reference to having the proper perspective on the trial we have encountered. This would be God’s perspective. The perspective of the “big picture” of things. It is a reference to the ability to see how trials can accomplish good in our lives in light of eternity.
We are to ask for wisdom to be able to see the “big-picture” and then put our faith in God that though we may not be able to understand or see the good in the trial that God will see us through.