Generous Wisdom for Difficult Days

Leader, you have a silver bullet. Open your Bible and you’ll find it lying in the book of James. 

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)

I’m sure you’ve read that verse before. It’s likely that you quote it often to the women you are serving. But are we living it? In these desperate days do we operate from the remarkable reality this verse has promised?

When your church must learn to minister to a socially distant congregation, do you ask for wisdom, believing God will give it, or do you react to ever-changing regulations instead?

As hopelessness spreads faster than the COVID contagion, do you ask God often for wisdom to respond effectively? Or, spiritually speaking, do you wring your hands?

When you gather to pray with other women do you ask for wisdom to navigate the current crisis with grace or do you only ask for the crisis to end?

Dear leader, I’m not pointing my finger at you. I am beside you in these trenches. I know how wearying the battle can feel, but my spiritual fortitude has been shored up by the discipline of asking for wisdom. This has nothing to do with my efforts, but because God always keeps His end of the deal. 

This Is, In Fact, Our First Rodeo

Perhaps, like me, your prayers for wisdom are delayed because there is a corner of your heart that believes you should already know what to do. You’re a women’s ministry leader, after all; shouldn’t you know how to respond to the needs of the women around you?

Except. . .

You’ve never been a leader in a global pandemic before. 

You’ve never been a parent whose children couldn’t go to school anymore. 

You’ve never had to minister wearing a mask before. 

Your church members have never had to stay six feet apart before. 

Your news feed has never been so full of fear and death before. 

Our generation has never been here before. They didn’t teach us how to lead during an ongoing global crisis in Bible college or when we volunteered to serve at church. 

While the challenges we face don’t surprise God, they are new to us. We need wisdom to navigate them. James’ promise is so simple, it seems too good to be true. All we have to do is ask? Yes! And keep asking. 

Look again at James 1 and note two tiny, precious words: “without reproach.” God never gives wisdom to His children served with a side of “I told you so” or “why couldn’t you figure this out on your own?” He delights to give us wisdom. Consider God’s response when King Solomon asked for wisdom as proof, “It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this” (1 Kings 3:10). 

Wisdom Overflowing

Circling back to James 1 we find another word I adore: “generously.” When you ask God for wisdom, do you expect a trickle or a deluge? More than enough wisdom to navigate the challenges you face in ministry or just enough to eek by? Let’s pause and consider what might shift in our leadership if we fully trusted that when it comes to wisdom, God is a generous giver. God’s wisdom is a limitless ocean. He has invited us to dip our cup and take a drink any time we need it. (And we need it often.)

Believing the promise means we live in the tension of humility and boldness. Humility is required to regularly confess to the Lord (and to others) that our wisdom is limited. We don’t know how to change hearts. We don’t know how to transform homes. We don’t know how to fight bitterness. We don’t know how to win the lost. We don’t know how to preserve Christian unity. We don’t know how to respond effectively when the women we love face grief upon grief. But we do know this: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight” (Prov. 9:10). 

Billy Graham said it this way, “Knowledge is horizontal, but wisdom is vertical—it comes down from above.” 

Does your need for wisdom reverberate through every planning session, every prayer meeting, every event? It can! This silver bullet is remarkably easy to fire, we simply begin to pray earnestly and constantly like this, “Jesus, I need wisdom. Please give it to me in the area of _______________.”

In The Little Red Book of Wisdom, author Mark DeMoss reminds us it really is that simple, “Wisdom does not favor intelligence or education, affluence or sophistication; it calls to everyone, everywhere. We need only respond.”

Let’s start now. Use our comment section as a prayer line. Type out the areas that you need wisdom as a prayer below. And then, keep asking! Our need for wisdom in these days is great, but we’ve got a silver bullet—a loving and attentive God, who generously gives wisdom to those who ask. 

PS: For more on the topic of wisdom, check out The Little Red Book of Wisdom by Mark DeMoss. Receive a copy as our gift when you give to the ministry of Revive Our Hearts this month. 

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About the Author

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

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