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Read Introduction to James


“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him”


As perseverance comes from a trial (vv. 3-4), wisdom [the ability to cope with deep difficulties] comes from prayer.

If any of you lacks wisdom,

James assumes that his readers lack wisdom. If a Christian does not possess “wisdom,” God will give it to him. The word “lacks” is a banking term for falling short in one’s account. Testing always requires special wisdom to cope with trials beyond our ability to manage. Trials should improve our prayer life.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).


A person with wisdom can make solid decisions.


A believer with “wisdom” has biblical common sense. He knows how to use his biblical knowledge. He knows how to apply the Word to experience.

“Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7).

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

Wisdom is the correct use of knowledge. It is the ability to exercise the discernment and judgment of God’s Word. We might possess great knowledge of the Bible but not know how to live it out.

If we do not know how to apply the Word to our experience, we lack wisdom. This is especially true in a trial. A person might be highly educated but devoid of wisdom. Conversely, it is possible to possess wisdom without a great amount of academic training. It is possible to have an educated imprudence. On the other hand, we cannot utilize God’s wisdom without knowledge of God’s Word.