Life presents many dilemmas:
What am I supposed to do? How does Christianity even apply to secular matters? How am I supposed to love others without approving of their sins? Am I expected to serve others if I am quite literally falling apart? Where am I going and what am I supposed to do in the future?
God has the solutions:
When you don’t know what to do, God knows. When you’re confused, God has a clear plan. And when you’re lost, God is in control. He is constant, sovereign, and good.
Thus, when you don’t know what to do, the best and most reasonable thing to do is go to the One who does–the Lord.
Scripture has a term for understanding what is the right course of action: wisdom.
“If you seek [wisdom] like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures…
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
for wisdom will come into your heart…” (Prov 2:4,9-10)
Wisdom is knowing what is the right and best course of action and knowing how to apply truth. In other words, wisdom understands how to deal with struggles and depression. Wisdom navigates the fine line between truth and love. Wisdom shows specifically how Christians should and can live for Christ and live like Christ in every specific situation. If you have true wisdom, you’ll understand every good path, Proverbs says.
How? The Bible says that wisdom will come into your heart if you seek it. In other words, it comes from an outside source, not within. As James 1 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith…” (Jam 1:5-6).
First, wisdom is not from ourselves: if we rely on our own strength and our own methods, we will fall.
Second, wisdom is from God, not anyone else; if we rely on the world’s strength and on its methods, we will likely fail.
Why? Because the world does not give wisdom. Purpose and truth does not come from within us or from the world, yet we often act like it does. When we turn away from God, we refuse to recognize that God’s way is best and always is perfect.
“For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,” (Prov 2:6-7)
Wisdom comes from the LORD Almighty, and Scripture promises that if we come before God in faith, God will give us wisdom–He even stores it up for those who ask. He is omniscient, perfect, and good.
Wisdom is found in the Bible, God’s Word, and is sought through prayer.
Although the Bible may not specifically address every fringe situation, it does present truth and principles — often far more than we are aware of. In 2 Timothy, Paul notes that Scripture is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” such that we can be fully equipped for every good work.
For example, I recently went on a hunt for what Scripture says pertaining to the relationship between believers and nonbelievers. I found that God has called us to be a light as said in Matthew 5:13-16, Acts 13:47, 1 Peter 2:9-12, and so on. In other words, a believer’s conduct should testify to the glory of God. I also found that believers’ speech should be gracious, gentle, yet true as explained in Colossians 4:5-6, 2 Timothy 2:22-26, 1 Peter 3:14-16, and many more verses.
Finding wisdom starts with searching and studying and seeking to understand God’s Word, for Scripture provides a wealth of truth and principle and examples of people living or failing to live it out. If you’re not already familiar or trying to become familiar with the Bible, do so! Oftentimes the questions we have or doubts we entertain are simply answered when we actually delve into what God says, and we end up not only finding the answer but learning more than we ever expected.
Seeking wisdom in Scripture is also accompanied by prayer–prayer that God will guide our understanding and that God will give us wisdom (Jam 1:5-6).
Of course, the end of all this seeking for wisdom is to put it into practice. Hebrews 5:14 describes mature Christians as “those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
Wisdom comes from God and is sought in His Word and through prayer. It may be an awkward process at first, but if we persevere in turning to God for wisdom, He promises to give it to us, and as we study the Bible and pray more and more, we will understand more and more about God and His character and consequently His wisdom. This is not something that can be obtained all in a moment: it takes constant practice. One who has dwelt on Scripture longer will better know what Scripture says than one who scarcely flips through the Bible. One who prays continually will have drawn closer to the LORD than one who barely spares a few minutes a day in rushed prayer.
When we’re at loss, God is perfect and good and in control. All we can do is turn to Him for wisdom.
“My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.” (Prov 2:1-5)
Image Credits: Hannah Wong