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"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5).

Many times when people read this verse, they take it out of context and say, "If you need wisdom, ask of God, and God will give it to you liberally," and they miss the context of what the scripture is talking about.

The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:30 that as born-again believers, we already have the wisdom of God. It says, "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus who of God is made unto us wisdom...."

If you are born again, you are in Christ; Christ is in you. The scripture says Jesus was made unto us wisdom. The manifestation of that wisdom was placed in us when Jesus said he would send us to another paraclete, which means comforter.

Jesus was the disciples' comforter when He was on the earth. But, He said, "I have to go away, and I will send you another comforter that He may abide with you forever" (John 16:7).

The comforter is the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is God. He is God in the third person indwelling us. Does not the Holy Ghost have wisdom? Isn't he on the inside of us? And, the Word says Jesus is made unto us wisdom. So, when you are born again, the wisdom of God becomes you.

You have the wisdom of God. It's available to you now. But, when most people read James 1:5 they assume they don't have any wisdom; so they have to ask God to give them wisdom.

They don't realize that there are two Greek words for wisdom, and the word used here for wisdom means "insight into the true nature of things." Another definition for the word wisdom used here is "the whole, total picture."

To have true insight into the true nature of something is to be able to see the broad scope.

The Word is talking about temptations, tests, and trials. So, you can't take this verse out of context and apply it to something else. He is talking about wisdom in the midst of temptation, test, or trial.

He said, "If any of you lack wisdom, the whole total picture through insight, or insight into the true nature of things [What's going on? What's really behind this test or trial? What's the game plan being used against me?] let him ask of God who gives true insight into the nature of things."

Ask God, and He'll give you the whole, total and complete picture of how this temptation, test, or trial is coming against you.

If God is the one doing the tempting, testing, or trying, then why would He give us the wisdom liberally to get out of it? If I wanted to put you in a pressure cooker and teach you a lesson, why would I leave the door open so you could walk out when you want to?

No, if I put you in it, I'm going to keep you in there until I'm through with you. With the doors open, God says, "I'll give it to you liberally; I'll upbraid it not, which means I will not withhold it from you. I'll give it to you; all you have got to do is ask ME."

How valuable is that information? Highly valuable! Suppose you were General Dwight Eisenhower in the European campaign during World War II and were fighting against the Germans; and you didn't know it, but the Germans were planning to ambush you.

As the ambush begins, the enemy's battle plan is to set up a diversion and get you to think the diversion is the main action so you'll commit all your troops to that battle, and then, they'll come behind you and wipe you out.

Now how valuable would insight into the true nature of things (the whole total picture) be to you if you were Dwight Eisenhower at that time?

What would you do if you had advance information? What if you had a spy who could tell you the enemy's entire game plan, from start to finish? If you were Ike, you would pretend you were taken in by the diversionary action, and when they came around, you would be waiting to ambush their ambush!

You would wipe them out. And, what would happen? You would be victorious.

Are you beginning to see why the scripture says you can have joy in the midst of trials?

Source: Joy in the Midst of Trials by Keith Butler
Excerpt permission granted by Word of Faith Christian Center

Author Biography

Keith Butler
Web site: Word of Faith International Christian Center
Bishop Keith A. Butler is the senior pastor of Word of Faith International Christian Center. Keith Butler is the founder and president of Keith Butler Ministries (KBM), an international organization established to take the life-changing message of the Gospel to "the uttermost parts of the earth." Through Live Your Faith Seminars and the establishment of our PISTIS School of Ministry in various locations, Keith Butler provides teaching of the Word of God on a variety of subjects such as how to live the life of faith, how to fulfill the call of God for your life, how to receive your healing, the importance of walking in love and many more topics. PISTIS is specifically designed to train ministers so that they are equipped to go out into their world and teach and preach Jesus effectively.

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