God's Word is Wisdom (James 1:5–8) - Radical

God’s Word is Wisdom (James 1:5–8)

“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

These verses are so good as we approach a presidential election. For those who are listening who are followers of Jesus in the United States and wondering how to vote, who to vote for, and wrestling through different issues, different dynamics in that. For some, it seems clear, for others, it feels less clear. So to come to James 1:5 and hear God say, “If you lack wisdom, ask Me, because I give generously to all without reproach. And it will be given him.” What a promise. Obviously, with anything we’re ever walking through, where we need wisdom, where we need discernment, to look to God and to know and to believe. He promises to give the wisdom we need.

Allow God’s word to guide each and every decision.

So as we think about how to steward a vote in a presidential election, we have a promise, a direct promise from God, that He will give us the wisdom we need to apply His word to how we steward our vote. What a comfort. What an encouragement. And then on a whole nother level, even as we pray for leaders and our country, for current leaders, for future leaders, this passage drives us to pray that they would ask and seek God for wisdom.

Praying to God for Wisdom

This is the whole picture we see all over scripture. I think about Solomon in 1 Kings 3, as he is leading God’s people. And he says, “I don’t know how to carry out my duties. Please give me wisdom.” And God is so pleased by that request and gives him wisdom and far more than that. When you get to Proverbs and you see over and over and over again, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

So to look to God, to trust in God, to seek God for wisdom, we want to pray for this and our political leaders and church leaders and leaders of homes, in every kind of leadership, and in every one of our lives, for that matter. What a promise from God, with so many implications for our lives and for the world around us. So let’s do it. Let’s ask God for wisdom.

James 1:5–8 Reminds Us of God’s Promise of Wisdom

God, we come to You directly, based on Your word to us in James 1:5–8. You promise to give us wisdom when we ask, so right now, we’re asking in faith, not doubting. We’re believing that You will give us the discernment we need for how to steward our vote in the election that we’re walking through as followers of Jesus in the United States. Certainly driven to pray for wisdom in so many other ways right now, over every person who’s listening, who’s walking through different challenges and different circumstances where they need wisdom. They don’t know what to do. Please give it. And as I pray that, I know You will give it when we ask, and we don’t doubt.

So God, we ask for wisdom in our lives. We ask for wisdom, specifically, in our voting. God, we pray for political leaders, now and in the future, to seek You for wisdom, to go to You for wisdom. Oh God, please deliver us from foolishness, from the opposite of wisdom, from foolishness in our lives. God, please deliver leaders around us from foolishness. Help them to seek You for wisdom, Your word and Your spirit for wisdom.

James 1:5–8 Prays for Wise Leaders

So God, we pray for this. God, we pray that you would raise up leaders who know that left to themselves, they are unwise, but when they seek You, they find wisdom. God, we pray for that and pray for that in our lives and in leaders around us, the leaders in our homes, leaders in our churches. And we pray for this in leaders in our country, for Your wisdom, and we praise You for Your generosity to give it to us.

When we ask in Jesus’ name, we pray and we receive. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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