James 1:5-7 | “If you find God-given wisdom, you find the fountain of life, if you don’t find wisdom you hurt yourself, if you hate God’s wisdom, YOU LOVE DEATH!”
1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
James is referring to the way trial and testing apply “fire” to our faith, so that it can come through the “furnace” of trouble cleansed of any dross or impurity from the flesh. Like gold that has been refined, faith can be purified from the selfish motives and misguided perceptions that often distort and weaken it. God can use trouble to accomplish just that.
Too often we are so eager to escape our difficulties that we seek mere relief from the trial, rather than to gain every possible spiritual benefit from it. If we say, “I cannot endure any more of this,” then God’s work of endurance within us is not perfect (Greek: teleios, “complete”).
How easily He might chide us for our ignorance and stupidity—as also for how little we have learned in so long a time!
But when we ask in faith, He does not reproach us for what we do not know. Instead, He is eager to supply our deficiency from His boundless treasure of wisdom and knowledge. Ask, James reiterates, and it will be given to you (Matt 7:7; Luke 11:9).