When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. . . . If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. – James 1:2, 5

tylb-wisdom-for-troubled-timesWhen it comes to how we understand trouble in life, there is wisdom—and then there’s wisdom.

Common wisdom counsels that troubles are evidence that God doesn’t care, so we might as well give up. That’s what Job’s wife advised him to do—to just “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Then there’s religious “wisdom” that insists on placing blame. Job’s friends took this approach when they said, “God is doubtless punishing you far less than you deserve” (Job 11:6).

Godly wisdom is completely different. It’s based on how big and good our God is. So it looks at trouble in life as an opportunity to enlarge our understanding of him.

That’s why James could say that troubles are “an opportunity for great joy.” They are a sign that we’re going to learn something new about God and our relationship with him. Troubles can also help us rely on God more and ask him for his wisdom.

It’s freely available to us from a God who is bigger than any of our difficulties.

All we have to do is ask.

Ask Yourself
Which type of wisdom do you tend to rely on when troubles come your way?

What would it take for you to believe James and actually be joyful when troubles come?

Ask God
Dear God, you know how difficult it is to be joyful when problems come. Please help me in those times not to listen to common wisdom or even to faulty religious wisdom, to but ask you for godly wisdom.

Taken from Take Your Life Back Day by Day copyright © 2016 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.