Recognizing and Resting in God’s Wisdom

SARAH IVILL|CONTRIBUTOR Have you ever asked questions like these?: Why am I suffering when I have sought to please the Lord? Does God really love me? Will God forgive me of this sin? How do I handle my child’s anger? How do I live a life of purity in a sex-crazed culture? What is the purpose of my life? Will the Lord save my parents, my in-laws, my siblings, my best friend? What do we do when such questions spring from our hearts? Perhaps the most common way is to proclaim God’s sovereignty or love. But I want to suggest that we also speak about God’s wisdom. From creation to the consummation God reveals that He is the only wise God. He is the Creator and He is the King.   God’s Wisdom in Creation In six days God spoke light, heaven, earth, seas, plants, trees, sun, moon, stars, sea creatures, birds, and beasts of the earth into existence. He also formed man out of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Then He made woman from one of man’s ribs (Gen. 1-2). Significantly, God’s wisdom in creation is one of the ways God responds to Job’s interpretation of his suffering (see Job 38:4-11). When we cannot understand God’s ways in our lives, the remedy is not found in understanding what God is doing, but in knowing God. He is the all-wise Creator...       

Recognizing and Resting in God’s Wisdom2022-05-04T23:18:26+00:00

Wisdom for Parents

We moved to our new house three years ago. It is a two-story house, a first for our family. Soon after we moved, our oldest son threw his brother’s teddy bear over the stair railing, hitting my favorite lamp below. It shattered into a million pieces. I remember lecturing my son on the foolishness of his choices (and mourning my lamp). Searching for Wisdom This same son turns 13 at the end of the year, and the stakes related to wisdom and foolishness are much higher now. I honestly wish I could use one of those Magic 8 Balls to help my son make wise decisions—and to make them myself!  Should my son have a smart phone? Shake, shake. Should he be allowed to be on social media? Shake, shake. Is it reasonable for him to sleep until noon on Saturdays? Shake, shake, shake. However, we all know that wisdom doesn’t come from the simple shaking of a toy ball. As we face increasingly more questions, I am convinced that seeking wisdom and training our children in wisdom are two of the most important things that parents can do. I know I am not the first one to be convinced of this—the entire book of Proverbs is about a father imploring his son to seek wisdom! “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 3:13-15). Wisdom is more important for our kids than excellent grades, athletic accomplishments, and good friends (man, I need to be reminded of this!) So how do we get wisdom as parents and then teach our children to do the same? Source of Wisdom 1) We remember that godly wisdom is different from worldly wisdom. Ruth Younts in “Get Wisdom” says “Wisdom helps you be more like Jesus in your actions, thoughts and attitudes, by loving God and loving your neighbor.” Godly wisdom has God as its purpose and center. My husband and I recently explained an unpopular decision we made to our son and discussed the difference between worldly wisdom and God’s wisdom. Godly wisdom is usually counter-cultural. It does not seek to please self or others. Proverbs 14:12 says “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death,” while 12:15 says “The way of a fool seems right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Often, what is right or wise goes against what is popular or right in the eyes of the world. True wisdom looks to please God above all else. We have had multiple conversations with our children about how our desire to please the Lord with our lives may cause us to make decisions that are  very different from those of their friends. Although these differences can be difficult for our kids, we are preparing them for a life of kingdom discipleship, looking at what God would have for them...

Wisdom for Parents2022-04-28T02:16:48+00:00

The Wise Asked to Be

Over the course of two short days, four friends shared extra hard things with me. I wanted to help—I wanted to relieve their burden, share their trouble, or offer something that could ease their pain. But I was at a loss as to how to respond practically. The usual offering of, “Oh, I’ll pray,” felt trite, almost as if I was brushing off their hardship. I wanted a meaty offering, filling as a pot roast delivered straight to the front porch of my hurting friends’ souls. And moreover, I wanted God to show up tangibly—for him to show himself as the one who shopped for the roast, cooked it to perfection, and delivered it right to their doorstep—the Ultimate Provider for hurting souls. I don’t rest easy in the spot of not knowing what to do, so I began to do what I often do, which is ask God how to pray. It wasn’t long before I found the Lord leading me to pray in the same way for all four friends—and that was to ask him for wisdom. The circumstances hardly seemed coincidental, and God’s leading made me curious—beyond the passages that are quick to spring to memory, where in Scripture are we told to pray for wisdom? Why does God want us to pray for it? And what does it do for us to ask for it? The Where’s of Wisdom James 1:5 is the likely first passage that comes to mind—the promise that God will give wisdom generously and without judgment to all who ask...

The Wise Asked to Be2022-05-04T23:57:45+00:00

Numbering Our Days with Wisdom

How many people have you heard say, “I just want 2020 to be over?” I’m sure you, like me, have heard several people say this at some point this year. Perhaps you have even said it yourself. But is this what we should be saying? There’s an instructive verse in Psalm 90 that speaks to this very sentiment, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). If there’s one thing you and I need, it’s wisdom, so I want to look briefly at Psalm 90.          Our Dwelling Place Psalm 90 begins with a confession of faith rooted in trust, “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Ps. 90:1-2). If anyone could speak of God as his dwelling place it would be Moses, on behalf of the nation of Israel. Long before the days of the temple where God would dwell in the midst of His people, the Lord took up residence by way of the tabernacle and the fire by night and cloud by day. Moses, who led the people out of 400 years of slavery in Egypt and 40 years in the wilderness, could speak of God as their dwelling place. He looked back through the corridors of time and recognized God had met with Abraham in a tent and Adam in the garden and proclaimed that from generation to generation the Lord had been faithful to His promise to dwell with His people. The same one who penned the account of creation in Genesis 1-2 penned the beginning of this psalm too, recognizing the first great act in the story of salvation. Indeed, Psalm 90 tells the big story of the Bible by taking us from creation, to the fall, to redemption, to consummation. If we are going to number our days wisely, we must live in light of this big story.   John tells us that Jesus came and tabernacled among us, revealing God’s grace and truth, which is the fulfillment of God’s promise to dwell among His people (John 1:14). Yet we still wait for the consummation of the promise when we will dwell with the everlasting God in the new heaven and new earth, praising Him for eternity. In the meantime, be encouraged. No matter what circumstances the Lord takes us through, He is our dwelling place...

Numbering Our Days with Wisdom2022-05-04T23:58:35+00:00
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