Patience and Wisdom

James 1:3‑5  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
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The Christian is seen by James in trying circumstances, the common lot of faith in this world. The desired effect to be produced by God's thus dealing with him is patience. But it is to be patience in continuance, otherwise it cannot be said to have its "perfect work" in him. Here Job failed. I learn patience by having my own will broken, and to this end the trials are allowed. I learn the wondrous fact that God is for me (in the trials) in order that I should, my own will broken, be content with and do His will.
But while patience must be thus learned because it is according to God, and we have to act on earth for Him, and patience is simply waiting on His will, yet it does not suppose indifference or inactivity. When it is a question of His will for me in everything, I know that His way must be right. Hence I learn patience or a ceasing from my own will. And then another thing comes in. I need wisdom in my daily path (for I must avoid sloth), so that in all I do I may be wise, that is, just doing as He would have me do in the circumstances of my daily life. "If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God." It supposes patience first, as a thing already learned, and subjection to His will, to what He is doing. Then, needing instruction, I ask what am I to do? Here comes in the need of wisdom, given to me liberally, if I ask with no will of my own in exercise. If I have my own will in exercise that is active, I am a double-minded man: "Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.”
Finally, as to "patience" and "wisdom," to be so much desired by and for us all as Christians, I would add that I believe that no "impatient" man will ever be found to be a "wise" man, either in his own things or in the Church. These things must not be taken out of their divine order. But, on the other hand, there is every hope and every prospect that a "patient" Christian man, however humble (and the more humble the more happy), will be found some day, at some trying moment perhaps, to have become to the surprise of some, a "wise" man. This is divine order first "patience," then "wisdom."
H. Anstey