Just Ask

VERSE OF THE DAY

James 1:5 (New Living Translation)

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If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

If you need encouragement and wisdom our generous gracious God will give it to us we just have to ask and he will give you it he will not rebuke you for asking

If you want wisdom, ask God and He’ll give it to you – James 1:5

October 17, 2021 Melissa Taylor, Faith Chapel

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.

– James 1:5, NIV

More About This Verse

MEANING

Are you trying to make a difficult decision? When you don’t know what to do, ask God for wisdom. When you ask God for help, it is evidence that you trust Him. This helps you to cultivate a deeper trust in God.

God gives generously to us when we ask for things that are good, right, and in His will. Even if we have failed or sinned, and are now coming to God asking for repentance and guidance, He is thrilled to help us. He offers His wisdom without finding fault—it doesn’t matter where we’ve been as much as where we’re going with God. He doesn’t hold us hostage to our past mistakes; He gives abundantly, happily, willingly, and without a judgement of fault or worthiness.

Is fear holding you back? You can rely on God to keep His promises even in seemingly impossible and messy circumstances (excerpt from “Life is a Journey, part 2”). It’s not the place you find yourself in that is important so much as the one who is with you.

EXPLORE THIS PASSAGE MORE

We get the most out of each verse when we understand them in context. So, feel free to dig a little deeper into the meaning of this verse with these resources:

• The Message version says this verse this way:

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.” (James 1:5, MSG).

What Does James 1:5 Mean? ►

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.

James 1:5(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

It has been said that a knowledge of one’s own ignorance is the beginning of wisdom and that recognising our lack of wisdom is a prudent step towards understanding. Scripture qualifies this by reminding us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and that a knowledge of the holy brings understanding.

Life is full of pitfalls and snares, and we often make wrong choices, but it is comforting to know that no matter what trials we may be called upon to face, or what foolish choices we have made in the past, we can go to the Lord and ask Him for godly insight and spiritual understanding, and He has promised to give us all that is needed for the task.

In this passage, James, the half-brother of the Lord Jesus, is particularly referencing the wisdom we need when compassed about by the various difficulties we encounter in our everyday lives and the tough choices we are all required to make. Until Christ’s resurrection, James was at enmity with God and scornful towards his older sibling. It must have been shocking for this young man to discover that the brother whom he had treated with such contempt, during his life, was his Lord and his Saviour.

This bondservant of Christ may have lacked wisdom in his earlier days but was ready to admit his folly and willing to share with us how easy it is to gain godly wisdom and spiritual understanding. James began his lesson on wisdom by pointing out that the suffering of this life produces patient endurance, which will furnish us with spiritual maturity. “However,” he continues, “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.”

There are times when we do not know what to do or which way to turn, and I am sure that James was shocked and mortified when the resurrected Christ visited his petulant, younger brother. But James was a young man with a teachable spirit, who was quick to embrace the wisdom of faith he lacked, and encourages those of us who are deficient in spiritual insight to ask the Lord for the necessary wisdom we need – and not to doubt that He will provide for us liberally.

James also knows that trusting the Lord for godly wisdom as we travel through life.. is a tool the Lord uses to test and strengthen our faith in Him, and which helps to produce in us the patient endurance that is so needful for our spiritual growth – but we are reminded to stand fast in the faith unwaveringly – if we are to honour the Lord Who bought us with His precious blood, and to come forth as gold.

How much we all need God’s heavenly wisdom in the tests and trials of life’s disappointments and difficulties, which are so much a part of our everyday lives. How much we need His guidance in the choices we have to make, a willingness to admit our faults, a readiness to learn the lessons God desires to teach us, and an eagerness to put into practice the truth we have learned.

We all want to finish the work that God has given us to do and to learn the lessons He desires to teach us along the way. We all desire to grow in grace and in a knowledge of Jesus and we all long to cultivate an undivided heart, that is unruffled by life, as we submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and walk in spirit and in truth.

Awareness of our lack in any of these areas of our Christian walk or recognising that life’s problems are swamping our fainting hearts is wisdom indeed – and a prudent step towards solving such problems is to ask the Lord for wisdom. Truly, a knowledge of our spiritual ignorance is a step towards godly wisdom, and recognising our lack of godly wisdom is a prudent step towards growing in grace, maturing in the faith, and gaining an understanding of our privileged position in Christ and all that He has done for us.

God knows that we are weak and frail and He knows that the testing our faith can cause us to complain or murmur or to become unsteady in our Christian walk.. but God provides all the wisdom we need to maintain a steady heart, patient endurance, and an unwavering, uncompromised faith in Him. God delights to give generously to all who ask – but we must be prepared to ask Him, to listen to His voice, and to obey His Word.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/james-1-5

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/james-1-5

Perseverance, Wisdom, and Spiritual Growth (James 1:1–5)

Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project

James begins by emphasizing the deep connection between daily life and spiritual growth. Specifically, God uses the difficulties and chal­lenges of daily life and work to increase our faith. “My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2–4). “Any kind” of trial can be an impetus for growth—including troubles at work—but James is particularly interested in challenges so intense that they result in “the testing of [our] faith.”

What kinds of challenges do we face at work that might test our faith in—or faithfulness to—Christ? One kind might be religious hostility. Depending on our situation, faith in Christ could expose us to anything from minor prejudice to limited job opportunities to dismissal or even bodily harm or death in the workplace. Even if others don’t put pressure on us, we may tempt ourselves to abandon our faith if we think that being identified as a Christian is holding back our careers.

Another kind of trial could be ethical. We can be tempted to abandon faith—or faithfulness—by committing theft, fraud, dishonesty, unfair dealings, or taking advantage of others in order to enrich ourselves or advance our careers. Another kind of trial arises from failure at work. Some failures can be so traumatic that they shake our faith. For example, getting laid off (made redundant) or dismissed from a job may be so devastating that we question everything we previously relied on, includ­ing faith in Christ. Or we may believe that God called us to our work, promised us greatness, or owes us success because we have been faithful to him. Failure at work then seems to mean that God cannot be trusted or does not even exist. Or we may be so gripped by fear that we doubt God will continue to provide for our needs. All of these work-related challenges can test our faith.

What should we do if our faith is tested at work? Endure (James 1:3–4). James tells us that if we can find a way not to give into the temp­tation to abandon the faith, to act unethically, or to despair, then we will find God with us the whole time. If we don’t know how to resist these temptations, James invites us to ask for the wisdom we need to do so (James 1:5). As the crisis passes, we find that our maturity has grown. Instead feeling the lack of whatever we were afraid of losing, we feel the joy of finding God’s help.

How to Apply the Book of James Into Your Daily Life

by Kristi Schwegman, LCSW | Apr 22, 2021

Part 1: Who is James, anyway?

James 1:1-8, 1:12-18

“This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” James 1:1

James refers to himself as a servant of God and Jesus. Would you believe it if I told you he was Jesus’ half-brother!? Yes! He grew up in the same house as Jesus; his mom and dad were Mary and Joseph. Would you believe it if your brother or sister claimed to be the son of God? No? Well, James didn’t either. Not until Jesus was crucified and then resurrected, did James believe that his brother was the son of God. Wow. Rest in that for a moment. Keep that fact in your mind as we work through this together!

Troubles

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2

We’re all going to have problems in life. We need to accept that. We will have great joys and great sorrows on this earth. In my opinion, James wanted us to focus on how we handle those problems that come our way instead of if or when we do. James goes on to point out that when we have these trials, that is when we have the chance to grow (1:3).

What is your general first reaction to trouble? What do you usually do? How do you usually feel?

Dive Deeper Into Scripture:

Check out these verses about times of trouble and what to do when troubles appear.

Romans 12:12, 2 Corinthians 1:4, 2 Corinthians 4:8 & 17-18, Proverbs 13:20 & 21-23

Which verse stuck out to you and how can you apply it to your life today?

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, Let us turn to you in times of trouble. Lord, we know they will come. Let us prepare for them and use them to grow us. With you, we can withstand any test that comes our way. Help us to take comfort in that assurance. In Your name, Amen.

Now it’s your turn. Write your own personal prayer to God.

Part 2: Patience

James 5:7-11

“You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.” James 5:8

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with patience. When I want it, I want it now (ahem, Amazon Prime). When I want someone to do something, I want them to do it right then. And when I want something to happen in my life or I pray and ask God for something, I get irritated when it doesn’t happen right away. Can you relate?

All throughout the Bible, in the Old and the New Testament, patience is discussed. I can only assume God finds it very important and helpful to practice the art of patience. Not just patience, but patience without complaining (whining, fussing, being dramatic, and the like) when we are trying to be patient and instead being hopeful in the waiting.

In what areas of your life are you patient and impatient? Why?

Do you complain, fuss, get grouchy or frustrated, take it out on others, or whine when you are in the waiting? Do you think this is what God wants of us during these periods? Why or why not?

Do you ever feel helpless or lack a sense of hope or purpose during these trials? Do you know what scripture says about hope and purpose?

Dive Deeper Into Scripture:

Let’s explore the Bible for verses on patience, hope, and complaining to get some perspective, wisdom, and encouragement.

Exodus 15:24, Exodus 16:2, Job 7:11, Proverbs 16:32, Romans 2:4, Ephesians 4:2

What did you find? Is there a verse that stuck out to you? Is there a verse you can recite the next time you are feeling impatient? Write out your favorite passage and post it somewhere or memorize it.

Prayer:

Dear Father, Thank you for the wisdom found in these scriptures. Help us to grow our patience to be more like your son, Jesus. Let the people of the Bible inspire us to be more patient. In Your Holy name we pray, Amen.

Now it’s your turn. Write your own personal prayer to God.

Part 3: The Power of Words

James 1:26-27, 3:1-12, & 5:12-18

“Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.” James 3:2

When you feel that someone has wronged you, do you want to yell? React right away based on how you feel? Do you feel that it’s your right to let them know how you feel? Do you rarely pause before responding? If you feel a feeling, do you feel that someone should hear about it?

James has a lot to say about the power of our words and the weight that they carry. He carefully illustrates the danger in the words we choose to say.

You’re fooling yourself if you don’t control your tongue. 1:27

And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. 3:6

but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 3:8

But luckily, James doesn’t leave us hanging with his warning. He also helps us with what we should say. He instructs us to confess our sins, pray to God, praise Him with our words, and pray for each other.

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 5:13

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. 5:16

Give thanks to God for teaching you wisdom in the pause. To breathe, pray, and reflect before responding. Thank Him for giving ample opportunities to learn that there are relational and personal consequences with the words you choose to say and how to say them.

Has your mouth ever gotten you into trouble? Have you ever lashed out, yelled, manipulated, bragged, gossiped, or criticized someone? Do you realize the power of your words?

Do you pray and confess your wrongs out loud? Do you outwardly praise God for all your blessings? Do you feel that there’s more power in saying words out loud rather than keeping them in your head?

Dive Deeper Into Scripture:

Use your Bible to look up these helpful verses on carefully choosing our words and the reasons for doing so. Trust the warnings that are mentioned and learn how dangerous our mouths can be. Practice guarding your mouth every day for the words you choose to say.

1 Kings 17-18 & 22 (about Elijah), Proverbs 10:11 & 12:19, Ephesians 4:29

Prayer:

Dear God, Thank you for our many blessings- big and small. Thank you for so clearly communicating to us the dangers and importance of our words. Thank you for giving us the ability to communicate and help us use it for good, not harm. In Your name, Amen.

Now it’s your turn. Write your own personal prayer.

Part 4: Relationships

James 1:9-11, 2:1-13, 3:13-18, 4:1-12, 5:1-6

“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” James 4:1

Can’t we all just get along? How many times have you thought this to yourself? Whether at home, at work, on the road, or at Target, you will witness and experience conflict. It just seems to be a part of life, right? This wasn’t God’s intention in the beginning. And he offers us a solution. We can start by asking ourselves, “where in me is this coming from?” That’s right. James instructs us to look at ourselves, rather than point the finger outward. Let’s try that together.

What are your current relationships like? Close or distant? Surface-level or deep? Long-lasting or fleeting? Smooth or bumpy?

When you have a conflict with someone, what does that typically look like? Is there yelling? Blaming? Criticizing? Judgment? Problem-solving? Compromise? Openness? Forgiveness and grace?

James talks about our inner feelings and relational motivations. Are you a jealous person? Do you struggle with greed, pride, selfishness, or stubbornness?

James also talks about loving everyone and not favoring one person over another (2:9). What does that look like to you and how can you practice this in your life?

Dive Deeper Into Scripture:

Use your bible to look up these verses on developing and maintaining healthy relationships, with other people, yourself, and with God. Memorize and practice these verses and keep a journal of how your relationships transform.

Luke 12:21, Proverbs 13:10, John 15:13, Ephesians 4:2, Colossians 3:14

Prayer:

Dear God, Thank you for the gift of connection and relationship. Help me to foster healthy, meaningful relationships with the people in my life. Please help me to be a person who is quick to forgive, have compassion, and show mercy. Help me to resist the urge to be judgmental, unkind, envious, or selfish. I trust You and your ability to help me and I give my relationships to You. In Your name, Amen.

Now it’s your turn. Write your own personal prayer to God.

Part 5: Taking Action

James 1:19-25, 2:14-26, 4:13-17, 5:19-20

“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” James 2:14

Can you analyze and talk something to death? Do you know something backward and forwards, but when it comes to taking action, well, that’s a little harder for you? What good is knowing something if you don’t take action and put it to good use? It’s not enough to know or believe something, you have to live it.

I encourage you to follow James’ instructions and take action. Know what motivates you, spend time with God asking Him to lead you and to help you surrender control, and open your eyes to how you can serve.

Read James 2:16 again. Is this convicting for you? How can you apply this to your life today? What is the difference in intentions and doing something? What do you think James was getting at? Do you see his correlation between faith and good deeds?

Do you make your own plans or do you pray about them and ask God to lead you in how and when you take action? When you have success in life, do you take credit for your actions or do you give the glory to God for the talents and abilities to be able to have done what you succeeded at? Have you ever known what God wanted you to do, but then didn’t do it? We know what to do, ask God for the courage to do it.

We are called to take action and bring people back from wandering. The Message version of James 5:19-20 literally says to “go after them and get them back.” If that’s not action, I don’t know what is! What are some examples of wandering and what are some actions we can take to help those we find wandering?

Dive Deeper Into Scripture:

Let’s explore how and why we should take action in our lives.

1 John 3:18, 2 Peter 1:5-8, Philippians 4:13, Luke 11:9, Matthew 7:24

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, Encourage us to take action for the good of serving Your will. Open our eyes to see what we need to do for You today and every day. Open our hearts to serve, give, and be ready to help those who wander from Your light. We surrender control to You and we let You lead, God. Help us to not be content with just believing. Give us the conviction to live out our faith. In Your name we pray, Amen.

Now it’s your turn. Write your own personal prayer to God.

Favorite Verses in James

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

James 1:2-5

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.

James 3:17

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

James 5: 16

ABOUT KRISTI | VIEW PROFILE

Kristi Schwegman is a psychotherapist specializing in helping couples develop healthy relationships, whether dating, engaged, or married. She also draws from her Christian-based approach to lead individuals in becoming aware of the limiting beliefs that can get them stuck.

What does James 1:5 mean? [ See verse text ]

In verses 2 through 4, James laid the foundation for the rest of his letter. He revealed that the Christian life is about cultivating a deeper trust in God as trials come our way. In fact, those trials are exactly what we need in order to learn to trust God more. Here, James begins to describe what it looks like to trust God in a wide variety of circumstances.

In this context, James is speaking of wisdom for a particular moment. This is a reference to those times when we just don’t know what to do. What’s the best choice? Which way should we go? How do we decide between two different paths? Those who truly trust God will ask Him for wisdom. Asking God for wisdom is evidence that we trust Him.

James states that God gives wisdom generously. He’s not stingy in providing insight to those who ask how to make the best choices. In fact, God gives wisdom away without “reproach” or finding fault. In other words, He doesn’t look at all of our previous foolish choices and decide we are not worthy of receiving wisdom from Him. What an amazing promise! The God of the universe stands by ready and willing to give abundant wisdom to those who ask based only on their trust and confidence in Him, not on their track record.

One way God reveals His wisdom to us is in His Word, the Bible. But the written Word is not the only way God supplies us with wisdom. Other Scripture encourages us to seek God’s wisdom in wise and godly counselors (Proverbs 11:14) and through observing His creation (Psalm 19:1), for example. But the ultimate source of all wisdom is God Himself.

Of course, this is not a simplistic promise, as the next two verses will show. Whether or not we get the wisdom we are seeking hinges on whether or not we truly trust God as the best source of wisdom.

Context Summary

James 1:2–18 begins with a challenging command for Christians. We are to classify hard things in their lives as ”joyful,” because those ordeals help us develop a deeper trust in God. Christians who trust God also seek wisdom from Him—and not from ungodly sources. We continue to trust Him through difficult experiences, in part, to receive the crown of life promised to those who don’t stop. We don’t blame Him for our desire to sin, but we do credit Him for every good thing in our lives.

Chapter Summary

How important is it for Christians to trust God? It’s so important, James writes, that we should call our worst moments joyful things, because trials help us trust God more. People who trust God ask Him for wisdom—and then take what He gives. People who trust God make a bigger deal about their rewards in the next life than their wealth in this one. People who trust God don’t blame Him for their desire to sin; they give Him credit for all that is good in their lives. They look into His Word, and they act on what they see there

Author: J. Palmer

Living under the wings of God and the angels around me keeping me going and safe. Sharing the love of Christ.

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There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. —Soren Kierkegaard. "...truth is true even if nobody believes it, and falsehood is false even if everybody believes it. That is why truth does not yield to opinion, fashion, numbers, office, or sincerity--it is simply true and that is the end of it" - Os Guinness, Time for Truth, pg.39. “He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard

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