Godly wisdom and maturity
When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence. And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask God—who gives generously to all men...James 1:2-5 (JB Phillips)
The road to Christian maturity passes through many difficulties. Each stage of the journey requires lessons learned from the prior stages. Problems we encounter in our lives are not to be viewed simply as roadblocks and detours to be impatiently endured but rather as essential to God’s end goal. We cannot get to where God wants us to be without passing through them. They are part of how God develops us to our full potential. As life progresses and there is a new and more difficult problem in our life, this could mean that we have completed the previous stage of our development successfully. This is what James is describing in these passages. There are three stages we face in life: trials, perseverance, and maturity. The first two are continually repeated until the final one is reached. The final stage provides the motivation needed so we can find strength in the first two. The trials are many, varied, and to be expected if growth in our Christian life is to take place. James advises that these trials that come our way are not to be viewed as random. Each is a spiritual matter for it is “testing our faith.” It is a test to show our spiritual determination, not designed to cause us to fail but to prepare us to succeed. James asserts that the key to growing to perseverance is to deal with each and every test as a spiritual matter. No one becomes perfect in this life. Yet there is still the very attainable goal of reaching our full potential for God in this life. Thus, we grow into maturity. Spiritual maturity is needed so we could understand who we are in Christ and His purposes in life. If we are not convinced that the Christian life consists of trials, perseverance, and maturity as explained from the text, then we need wisdom. Wisdom is distributed freely by God to those who ask. God wants us to understand the Christian life and with godly wisdom the goal of maturity becomes a reality.