Devotion #195

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James 1:5-8 ESV

James penned these verses about wisdom immediately after the he wrote about enduring trials with joy. The wisdom that is generously available to us is the knowledge for how to endure trials with joy. We don’t have to be overcome by those waves, we can know how to sail those tumultuous seas with the peace that we will make it through the storm.

Enduring trials with joy is not natural. It’s not something innate to us. We want to fight against the trial, we want to find a resolution to end the struggle quickly. We throw our hands in the air and cry, “Why is this happening to me?” We drop to our knees and beg for His wisdom in the answer. We believe if we just understood the purpose behind the struggle, we would be able to endure the heartache. 

Sometimes, He reveals this wisdom to us, but often He doesn’t. Sometimes we don’t ever get an answer for why we struggled. But the wisdom James is suggesting we seek isn’t the answer to the question why, it’s how. How can I bring glory to God in this trial? How can I see this from God’s perspective? How can this struggle help me to grow?

God’s purpose for the struggles in our marriage is to grow us to be more like Him. He wants our hearts to be sacrificial in our love for others, to be abundant in our grace and mercy. The wisdom we should be seeking is how to love deeper, how to show more grace, how to forgive more completely, how to accept without judgment. Instead of asking the why questions—Why can’t he seem to find a good job? Why are our kids the ones with challenging needs? Why does she continue to spend? Why does he seem to prioritize his work over me? Why is she so cold?, start asking the how questions—How does God want me to grow through this struggle? How can I love him more? How can I encourage her when she’s struggling?

In marriage, you will need this wisdom to endure trials with joy. The trials will come whether you choose to endure them with joy or not, but the choice you make in those trials will determine if your marriage gets bitter or if it gets better. The answers to the why questions can leave us angry, resentful, or hurt. But the answers to the how questions will grow us to be more like Him. The wisdom we should be seeking is how to love and comfort those who are in the struggle with us in the same way chooses to love us.

Press on ~ you are loved. 💗

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