God’s Wisdom and Ours, “Knowing God”, chapter 10 (part 3)

“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

J.I. Packer, in chapter 10 of Knowing God, uses a pair of ‘transportation’ illustrations help us understand the gift of wisdom that God gives to those who ask for it (p114-116). Written in England in the 1970’s the references may seem a little quaint (a train signal box with a diagram on the wall with little lights on it!), but the point is still powerful. Although God possess perfect wisdom, seeing and knowing all things– past, present, and future– he rarely grants us access to the reasons why things are happening in our lives. We are not given such overarching insight. Instead, we are given such wisdom that we are able to respond well, moment by moment, to the circumstances before us.

Thus the effect of his gift of wisdom is to make us more humble, more joyful, more godly, more quick-sighted as to his will, more resolute in the doing of it and less troubled (not less sensitive, but less bewildered) than we were at the dark and painful things of which our life in the fallen world is full… Thus the kind of wisdom that God waits to give to those who ask him, is a wisdom that will bind us to himself, a wisdom that will find expression in a spirit of faith and a life of faithfulness.

J.I. Packer, “Knowing God”, p121

For your reflection:

In what current situation(s) do you sense your need for God’s wisdom? As you pray about that, what wisdom has God already given you– perhaps from the Bible, or perhaps through your own experience or discernment? As you specifically ask God for his wisdom in relation to that situation, what kind of new insight or guidance are you expecting?

After your prayer for wisdom, you might like to open your Journal, and write a few notes on this particular situation under the following headings: How would you define the issue? Under God, what do you think would be the best possible outcome? What are your options, which lead that outcome? How might you best implement the best option?