When you don’t know what to do, what do you do? When you need wisdom on making an important decision, how do you get it? If you ask God for wisdom will He give it to you? If so, how does He give you wisdom?

Read It

James 1:5, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you” (NLT).

Think About It

I’m going to assume that you have already asked God for wisdom. You may have ask God about what to do with your spouse, children, work, finances, health, or something else that’s important to you. Once you ask for wisdom, how is God going to give you the wisdom you need in order to make the right decision and do the right thing? God will give you wisdom through at least four ways.

God gives you wisdom through the His Word.

God’s Word, whether you have a paper copy or a digital copy, was given to you to give you wisdom. If you want wisdom, then you will need to read and study God’s Word. Look carefully at Psalm 19:7, “The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple” (NLT). When you read and understand the Word of God there is something reviving about it, something refreshing about it that encourages your soul like water to a very thirsty person. God’s Word has the power to make you wise. To give you insight in decisions you need to make about your finances, health, career, and relationships. Even though you may feel like you are a simple person in the middle of a complex situation, God’s Word will make you wise.

God gives you wisdom through wise friends.

Your friends, the people you hang out with and listen to and talk to are influencing your level of wisdom or foolishness. Proverbs 13:20 makes this clear, “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble” (NLT). Your choice of friends and the people you listen to are critical because they have the power to influence how you think and live. Proverbs 10:13 reinforces this, “Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding, but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod” (NLT). You want to listen to and pay attention to those who have a good understanding of life, marriage, finances, work, school, and God. Whenever you are making life decisions and needing guidance seek out those who have wisdom and let them speak understanding into your life. You don’t want people speaking nonsense into your life.

God gives you wisdom through wise counsel.

Wise counselors can be different than your wise friends. Even though wise friends can offer wise counsel I am separating these two for emphasis. Wise counsel suggest that you seek out wise experts, professionals. There are godly people who are experts at what you are needing advice on. They are professionals when it comes to financial management, marriage counseling, how to age well, emotional management and a host of other important areas of your life. Colossians 3:16 puts it this way, “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives” (NLT). There are some people that God has gifted in teaching and counseling, they have a lot of wisdom that you can receive from their books, blogs, podcast, seminars, and sermons. Let God use them to teach you. Let them counsel you. Proverbs 15:22 adds, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success” (NLT). Go get advice from others. Here what godly experts have to say about what you are asking God’s wisdom for (see also Proverbs 12:15; 13:10).

God gives you wisdom through prayer.

We are told, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you” (James 1:5, NLT). I have saved this one for last, for a reason, because of what some Christians do. They find themselves in a trial, trouble, or a problem. They are trying to deal with a difficult person, some bad news, or maybe a new opportunity. They need to make a decision, so they do the right thing by praying. They pray something like, “God, I need your wisdom about this. I’m not sure what to do. I know what I would like to do, but in this case it may not be your will. So I need to know how to handle this person or which way to go….” So they prayed.

But here is where many Christians make a mistake. They pray for wisdom, but do nothing else. They ask God to give them wisdom, but they don’t look for the wisdom. They end up doing whatever they feel like doing with their limited knowledge. They ask God for wisdom but don’t search out God’s Word to see what He says about the subject. They don’t have serious conversations with other wise friends allowing them to ask them the tough questions and to give constructive criticism, nor do they seek out wise counsel from experts.

When James says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you” he is assuming you are going to “search for [wisdom] as you would for silver” and that you would “seek [for wisdom] like hidden treasures” (Proverbs 2:4, NLT).

Apply It

What am I asking God’s wisdom for? How have I searched for God’s wisdom on this subject? Who can help me discover God’s wisdom? Why am I reluctant to ask others advice?

Pray It

Heavenly Father, I need your wisdom. I am asking for it. I believe you will give me the wisdom I need to make the right decision. Therefore, I will search and seek out your wisdom through your Word, godly friends, godly counsel and prayer. Thank you, in advance, for providing the wisdom I need.