Gaining a heart of wisdom with regard to the trials that we face in life begins with asking God for wisdom. This is done through prayer and personal worship. Yet evidently, the Christians to whom James is writing had what we could call ‘prayer problems.’ Prayer is more often talked about than practiced.
It is only through prayer and worship that God will bring clarity to our lives and circumstances. Rather than praying, “God, take me out of this furnace,” perhaps we should pray, “God, refine my life through this furnace.” Show me what You would have me learn through this experience. I find it interesting that James doesn’t tell us to pray for strength, or for grit, or for peace. He tells us to pray for wisdom. The reason he does so is that you and I need wisdom from God so that we don’t waste the opportunities that God is giving us to mature in the faith. I need wisdom to understand how God is using my trials for my own good and His glory.
I read about a man who visited a world famous weaver and watched as the men and women in his shop worked on their looms. The man noticed that the undersides of the rugs they were weaving were not very attractive. The patterns seemed obscure, and the loose ends of multicolored yard dangled and seemed to be so random. The weaver told the man, “Don’t judge the work by looking at the wrong side; you’ve got to see it from the other side!”
That is a fitting illustration of the what the wisdom of God does. It helps us to view life, not from our perspective below, but from heaven’s perspective above. Such wisdom only comes through prayer, worship, and time spent in God’s Word.
For more, read James 1:2-8; Proverbs 3:5-6