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Henry Brinton, July 2 2021

Summer Study 7: Daily Wisdom

July 2

James 1:2-8

Ask God for Wisdom

When have you been challenged to take a strong stand for God? 

In a series of books called The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis created a fantasy world to teach lessons about the Christian faith. 

Narnia is a land full of obstacles and opportunities, battles and betrayals, dangers and deaths — just like our own. The future of Narnia is balanced on the lives of four children, boys and girls who must find inside themselves the courage and the faith to work alongside Aslan the lion.

Aslan is an outstanding fictional representation of Jesus. Although good and loving, Aslan is not a tame lion. He represents what the Bible calls “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5), a powerful beast who calls his followers to be brave and trusting as they face challenges together.

Over the course of the story, the children discover the truth of the letter of James: The testing of their faith “produces endurance,” and this endurance makes them “fully mature, complete, and lacking in nothing” (James 1:3-4). Their story makes me wonder: Could I summon the courage to take a strong stand for God, in the middle of my own struggles? When weakened by doubt and fear, will I find enough faith to resist the lure of temptations that lead me astray?

Fortunately, James gives this assurance: “But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask” (verse 5). When facing difficult challenges, we are given the promise that God will offer us the wisdom we need to respond correctly.

Idolatry is one area in which wisdom is required today. Now it’s true that there are no golden statues in pagan temples in our neighborhoods, but the temptation to worship counterfeit gods is as real as it has ever been. We are invited to serve political gods who tend to appear as messiah figures, from both ends of the political spectrum. We are tempted to worship money and material success. Sex is an idol to some, as is physical beauty. And some of us even fall into the trap of worshiping our children by making them the central focus of our lives.

In the face of such idolatry, God promises to give us wisdom. Such divine insight keeps us focused on the worship of the one true Lord, instead of on the counterfeit gods that call out for our devotion. And when we are wise enough to put God first, we find that we can have appropriate relationships with good (but not godly) political figures, business colleagues, romantic partners, and family members. Like the children of Narnia, we are given wisdom to make good choices. And by our side is Jesus, who joins Aslan in calling us to be brave and trusting, as we face the challenges of life together.

Thank you, God, for giving us the wisdom we need to make good choices each day. Amen.

Written by

Henry Brinton


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