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Monday, May 23, 2011

God's Wisdom Comes by Prayer When You Need It

Life is not a matter of formulas. Some things have no apparent solutions. The man who cannot find employment despairs over feeding and caring for his family. He sees that everything he has will be taken away from him and his family. He wants a solution yo his problem but none can be found.

The woman who has been told that her child is dead in her womb doesn't know what to do. Yes, there is no evidence of life but she wonders if it is right to end the pregnancy. She doesn't want to take the life of a little one if there is any chance that her child is still alive. The assurances of the doctors give her little comfort. What should she do?

A best friend confides that she is having an affair. Her confession is preceded by a promise that it cannot be told to anyone. How can you go to church with her knowing that she is living a lie? How can you keep silent while her husband is faithfully keeping his marriage vows? What can you do to make things straight? You have confronted your friend but she is fine with the status quo. What should you do?

Each of these scenarios are real. Each of these people have struggled through the decisions they needed to make. No human solution seemed to work. They needed something more.

There is no guarantee that things will turn out peachy even if you do the right thing. The result cannot be the only factor is doing what is right. Doing what is right will fall within the values that God has established. Doing what is right may be beyond your ability to think or even know what is right. Doing what is right in these perplexing circumstances will take genuine prayer and faith.

James said:

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

Impossible situations are often presented to me as a pastor. I do not have the wisdom to know what to do for many of them. I am (truthfully) forced to pray for wisdom. God always answers and gives me exactly what I should do but the wisdom seldom comes instantly. I pray as a matter of faith for some time before I am given the solution. The solution that God gives is often beyond my control. Sometimes He tells me to sit quietly while He fixes things. Other times He tells me to get up and do something that is completely outside of my comfort zone.

There are even times when He makes the solution appear before my eyes. He finds the man a job, the lady spontaneously miscarries or the woman falls under conviction, ends the affair and confesses to her husband. I merely have to be there for the praise and tears.

Right now I have been praying for over two years for the wisdom to deal with a particular problem. The problem continues to get worse while I continue to pray. I really don't know what to do but I know that God will give me His wisdom at exactly the right moment.

Sometimes I wish that God would tell me things He wants from me in the future. I would love it if He would say, "In two years you will have a very difficult problem. Here is what you should do . . . " I have never heard from God in this way. He gives me the wisdom at the moment I need it.

All prayers are asking for God's grace. I certainly don't deserve His answer. It is simply His gift to me. That is what grace is. It is God's giving to His children what they don't deserve.

And such it is with wisdom. I don't deserve His wisdom but He has promised that I will receive it if I will ask for it. I would foolish to turn down such an offer. But God never wastes His grace. He only gives us the grace that we need for each day on the day that we need it. That is how we make it while we watch a loved one die of cancer. We get the grace for that day on that day to make it through that day. We get the wisdom (grace) on the day that we need it too.

And so I pray for wisdom when I don't know what to do. I know I will receive it. I also know I won't receive it until it is really needed.

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