Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A Look into James: Wisdom

According to dictionary.com, the word wisdom means "knowledge of what is true or right coupled with the judgment as to action; discernment".

I don't know about you, but the thought of wisdom has always been a strange concept to me. I typically think of King Solomon in the Old Testament and his wisdom. Or I'll think of wise sayings people write.

But the thing is, wisdom has been desired since the beginning of mankind.

Genesis 3:5-6, "“In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it."


I also haven't ever really paid attention to learning about what wisdom means and what scripture says about it. But James talks quite a bit about wisdom in James 1:5-8 and James 3:13-18. I'm especially going to focus on the latter passage.

There are two types of wisdom: God's perfect wisdom from heaven and "wisdom" from this world. There's a distinct difference.

James 3:14-16 says,  "But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice."

So, worldly wisdom has a couple of ways to recognize it:

- It comes from bitter envy and selfish ambition.
- It's unspiritual and demonic.
- The result is disorder and every evil practice.

Those are very strong descriptions. The thing is, Satan is clever. After all, he's the father of lies. He has a way of making that wisdom looking good and desirable, as seen in Genesis 3:1-6. It can be easy at times to give into temptation, thinking that the wisdom isn't folly.

Okay, so what does God's wisdom look like?

James 3:17, " But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense."

It's pure, peace-loving, gentle, compliant, fully of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense.

Reality is, God's wisdom is a lot different than our picture of wisdom.

Isaiah 55:8-9, "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.' This is the Lord’s declaration. 'For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.'"


So, what does all of that mean for us today?

- Don't give into the wisdom of this world, it'll only lead you astray.
- If you are wondering what wisdom you're listening to, see what fruits your life is producing.
James 1:5-6 talks about asking God for wisdom in faith.
- God's wisdom is perfect. We may not always understand, but He knows best.


I just finished reading the book of James and several themes stuck out to me. This won't be a long series, but we'll be taking a look into James!

Anyway, I hope you have a great week! Is there a particular scripture about wisdom that sticks out to you?

Psalm 111:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his instructions have good insight. His praise endures forever."

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Every Moment Matters

I've tried to write a blog post so many times over the past few months. After my last post I honestly didn't think I'd post again. The words I wrote never felt right and I didn't feel like I had anything else to say.

Looking back, I know that's not true. I'm still a vessel for God to use, and writing is something I've used to glorify Him and I still want to do that through blogging. It just wasn't the right time when I tried before.

I'm at a weird stage of my life right now. It's a strange season of waiting and some struggling, yet hopefully growing in the process. 

I was reading in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 today and there were several verses that stuck out to me, some of which I hadn't really noticed before.

Verse 2 "... a time to plant and a time to uproot;"

Verse 3 "a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance;"

Other verses talk about a time to heal, a time to search and a time to count as lost, a time to be silent and a time to speak.

Every moment in our lives matters. Every season in our lives matter. And honestly? It doesn't always feel that way. Sometimes we feel like we're waiting for no reason, stuck in the in between. Or sometimes we feel like we're being tossed in the waves, struggling but not going anywhere.

But the truth is, everything has a purpose. We may not see it on this side of eternity, but it all matters in some way.

And we fail, we give into temptation, we sin, we doubt, we float in the waves and crash on the rocks sometimes. But we can get up and try again. 

We can't do this on our own. Life sucks sometimes and feels awful. Anxiety, moving from one place to another, depression, loss of loved ones, struggling in friendships, loneliness... we all feel some of these things at times or struggle with them. But God is always with us.

The other day I was flipping through the Psalms and read over Psalm 139. It's a pretty well known passage and often quoted. 

Psalm 139:9-10, "If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, even there your hand will lead me; your right hand will hold onto me."

God is everywhere and He sees us. If you have a relationship with Jesus, He will lead you and guide you, He'll hold onto you. 

I gotta admit, sometimes - a lot of the time- it's hard to understand why God allows suffering to occur. We wonder and scream at the heavens why the world is so messed up and why He doesn't intervene. I don't have the answers, not really. I know that things happen for a reason, even if we can't always see the reason. I know that we live in a broken world and so many things happen as a result of that. And I know that no matter what God is good.

Psalm 136:1, "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His faithful love endures forever."

A couple of main points to sum up this post:

  • There's a time and season for everything. Every moment matters.
  • We may not understand on this side of eternity and we don't have to have all the answers, though it's okay to ask questions.
  • We need God every minute of every hour and He is always there, even if we don't always see it.
  • God is still good no matter what. 

This season of my life right now? It's a time to uproot and a time to wait. It's a time of both weeping and laughter. It's a time of struggling and yet also a time for growth. It's hard to remember sometimes, but there is a purpose in it all. 

God has a plan, even if we don't see it at the moment,


I don't know where this blogging thing is going to go. Maybe I'll post a couple more times or maybe I'll keep posting for years. What I do know is that I want to be available for God to use, for Him to speak through me.

Psalm 139:16 says, "Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began."

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Broken Pieces

The other day I was working on something called a life timeline. Basically you draw a line from when you were born to today on a piece of paper and write the major things in your life that have shaped you.

It was kind of hard looking back at some things like past trials and struggles... even current pain and struggles.

But throughout all of that mess I can still see the traces of God at work. I can look at the moments where I grew in my faith, the moments where He reminded me of His Words. Even in the trials, He was working to shape me and grow me.

Without those times, the good and bad, I wouldn't be who I am today.

Of course, going through trials isn't fun. In fact, in James 1 James is talking about having joy in trials. I basically want to ask James if he was crazy. But the reality is that we CAN have joy in trials, because our joy isn't in our circumstances but in Jesus.

I look at people in the Bible and when you look at people in the Bible you see a lot of failings, temptations, and human foolishness. But you can also see God using those people for His glory and purpose. God can use us too.

When I look at my future, I feel a lot of uncertainty because the future is unknown. I have no clue what's going to happen in my life. But I can have peace in the uncertainty because I know God holds my life in His hands and He's going to work it all out for His glory.

Life is messy. But that's okay.

It's like when the world was perfect before the fall, it was a beautiful picture. After the fall it became like broken glass. We look around and we see God putting the pieces together, but He isn't doing it like we think He should. We don't understand what He's doing. But maybe He's putting the broken pieces together to make  a beautiful mosaic.

The book of Ecclesiastes isn't a very happy one. But it still has some good truths. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 talks about how there is a time for everything. We can't rush through the hard times, but we need to remember that there will be times to dance and laugh.

Guys, I don't know what you're going through today. Maybe it's an external struggle like loss of a loved one, what college to go to, or something else. Maybe it's an internal struggle like depression, anxiety, or fear.

No matter what's going on in your life, trust God. Pain cuts deep and it doesn't always make sense. But God is still in control and He loves us all.

Below is the lyric video to a beautiful song called "Red Sea Road" By Ellie Holcomb. It has great reminders that we're never alone and that God is faithful. I highly recommend listening to it.


I know I've been pretty absent on this blog this fall. But I have to confess that I've been struggling to find the words to write what God has been teaching me. I can't promise to write every week, but I'm going to try to get back into posting now and then.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Traveling Pictures

I'm back! I haven't blogged in months. After traveling I just continued this blogging break. It was a great break. I needed it. But now I'm ready to try to get back in the groove of blogging.

I have way too many pictures from my trip to China to not post some, so this won't be my typical post. Next week I'll try to start again with my normal posts.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of the sights I saw in China...

Shenzhen, China ^

Picture taken from a train ^

Nanning, China ^

Nanning, China ^

The Guilin mountains ^

A spot in Guilin ^

View in Guilin ^

View of Guilin ^

Guilin mountains ^

Bamboo rafting ^

A Dong village ^

Dong village ^

The Great Wall ^ 

The Great Wall ^

A spot in Beijing ^

Beijing at night ^

Anyways, those are some of the highlights. I'm excited to be getting back to blogging!