This week we are privileged to hear from Lori Hatcher as she shares an excerpt from her recent book, Refresh Your Hope, 60 Devotions for Trusting God With All Your Heart. The link to this book is at the end of the post and I know you will be blessed by ordering and reading this amazing devotional. Here's Lori:
God of Wisdom
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives
generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
I suspect if someone asked, “Who’d
like to be mature and complete in your faith,” most of us would wave our hands
wildly and yell, “I do! I do!”
But when we discover the route to maturity winds through the wilderness of trial? “Uh, no. Never mind. Maturity’s overrated.”
are especially good at revealing areas of spiritual immaturity and our need for
godly wisdom. During my daughter’s turbulent adolescent years, I found myself
on my face before the Lord crying out for wisdom almost every day. Challenging
patches in my marriage motivate me to seek wise counsel and resources. And when
times of conflict threaten our ministry, we pray, fast, and seek God’s will
about how to proceed.
forty years into this Christian life of mine, I still need to be reminded that
God freely offers me His wisdom.
any of you lacks wisdom,” James wrote, “you should ask God, who gives
generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (1:5).
no coincidence that James declared God’s glorious, hope-filled promise smack
dab in the middle of a life-is-hard-but-God-is-good pep talk to the Jews scattered
abroad because of persecution.
it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let
perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not
lacking anything” (James 1:2–4).
tend to look at trials as bad—and they would be—apart from God’s sovereign
purposes. From God’s perspective, however, trials enter our lives only with His
permission—and only to accomplish His will. Part of His will is that we
persevere, mature, and seek His wisdom.
aspects of trials can bring deep and abiding joy. But first they bring pain,
and we don’t get to opt out. “In the world,” Jesus warned, “you will have
tribulation” (John 16:33 esv).
we do get to choose how we respond to trials. We can seek God’s wisdom, or we
can attempt to figure them out ourselves.
I had a relationship with Christ, I’d tackle trials with everything I had. It
never occurred to me to ask God for insight or direction. Sometimes I fall back
into this mindset. I leave God out of the equation until I’m desperate. Only
when I’ve exhausted all my wisdom and resources do I cry out to God.
the brother of the Lord, suggests another way—a better way. Ask God for wisdom.
Then believe what He tells you (James 1:5–6).
Knowing God promises a sure and steady source of wisdom for times of trial gives me the hope I need to persevere.
what does God’s wisdom look like? And where do we find it?
first and most obvious source is the Bible. But we can’t just throw open its
cover like an emergency tool kit, fumble around until we find something that
looks like it might work, and duct tape it to the problem. We gain God’s wisdom
through a sincere and diligent search.
2:1–5 describes it this way:
My son, if you accept my words and
store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your
heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for
understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for
hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the
knowledge of God.
second source of God’s wisdom comes through prayer. I discovered that if I
bathe my Bible reading in prayer, God often speaks to me through my reading for
the day. He also speaks through sermons and biblical messages, and the voice of
His Spirit in my heart. Sometimes I forget to listen and spend all my time
talking. “God, you’ve got to fix this. Lord, show me what to do. Father, I’m so
confused, frustrated, anxious, upset.” But when I embrace the words of Psalm
46:10, “Be still and know that I am God,” my heart quiets, and I can hear God
God will impart His wisdom through the counsel of others. But we must choose
our sources carefully. Rather than blab my problems to everyone who will
listen, I’ve learned to seek out those who are grounded in God’s Word, mature
in their faith, and wise in their experience. I’ve also learned there’s no
shame in seeking help. Proverbs 11:14, written by Solomon, the wisest man who
ever lived, reminds us, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall: but in the
multitude of counselors there is safety” (nkjv).
wisdom is only one prayer away.
From the Heart
Forgive me, Father, for being so quick
to tackle my problems in my own strength, with my own wisdom, and totally
ignoring you. Or waiting until the situation is so desperate I have nowhere
else to turn. Thank you for the reminder of James 1:5 and the promise that
you’ll give me insight and direction every time I ask. Teach me to come to you
first, not last, every time I need wisdom. In Jesus’ name I ask, amen.
This post is an excerpt of Lori Hatcher’s book, Refresh Your Hope, 60 Devotions for Trusting God with All Your Heart, by Our Daily Bread Publishing and is used with permission.
Refresh Your Hope, 60 Devotions for Trusting God with All Your Heart, released on January 3. Connect with her at www.LoriHatcher.com or on Facebook, Twitter (@