1.Consider it pure joy whenever we face trials (v.2) This is the very first step that we have to do in winning over trials. As we have said previously that we are to face trials with a smile, instead of facing it with a frown. This is a complete different or is directly opposite approach in comparison to the world. This is the Biblical approach. Most of the things taught in the Bible are directly opposite to what the Lord is teaching.
For example, the world teaches “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.”. In fact, this teaching is also Biblical in the Old Testament (Exodus 21:24-26). But when the Lord Jesus Christ came, he teaches us that we have to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44-46). In our passage, it teaches us to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials. But the world teaches the opposite thing. The world teaches us to be sorrowful whenever we face trials. It teaches us to mourn, to cry out loud, while the Bible teaches us to rejoice, to consider it pure joy.
In considering it pure joy, it means that we are not to see it as a problem but an opportunity to learn from it. Trials can be a good source of learning.
2.Ask wisdom from God who gives generously (v.5) God is the source of all wisdom. The passage says, “If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God.” Here we see that sometimes with our very limited wisdom, we do not understand what is exactly happening to us in our daily circumstances. We use to ask God that why these problems occur in our lives.
With our very limited knowledge, certainly it is very difficult for us to understand the ways of the Lord. In fact, the book of Isaiah 55:8 tells us that the Lord’s ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. Hence, whenever we do not understand the things that are happening to us, we have to ask God for the wisdom.
The same thing is true in our desire to overcome our trials. Sometimes, we don’t exactly know how are we going to overcome them. We do not know how are we going to face it. But the Lord our God is generous enough to give us wisdom in overcoming it. As God reminded us, that we are not to worry about our life (Matthew 6:25-34), yet are to “Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
3.Believe that God gives wisdom (v.6) What’s the point on asking God something yet we do not believe? Can we benefit from it? Doubting is unbelieving, and we can never benefit from it. Our passage says in verse 7, that a man that doubt God, should not expect something from it because he is double minded man, and unstable in all he does. I want us to take note the phrase “unstable in all he does”. Looking at the passage, the context is all about asking wisdom. But note how it affects our actions, our daily chores, our daily work. If we do not believe that God indeed can give wisdom generously, then he is unstable in all he does.
A person who is unstable in all he does is a person who has no disposition. You cannot see in him stability in things that he does. If for example we put this in terms of jobs, he is a person who keeps on resigning from his jobs or the one who is being kept terminated for various reasons. We can see here therefore the importance of our trust in God. If we have no faith, then all our undertakings will always be unstable.
4.Live a humble life (v.9-11) This part now tells us that whoever we are, we are not exempted from all these trials. Whether we are rich or poor, we are to face it. As the passage says: “The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in lowly position…” Thus, no one can boast for something. Even the rich can never boast for his richness for he will pass like a wild flower thus, is not exempted from fading away even while he goes about his business.
So far, we haven’t seen a rich man who was able to stop himself from dying. Money can indeed extend our breath at least for a while, but not our life. When God says, that’s it, then our life ends. And therefore, money is never a measure of our way of living.
Instead, the passage reminded us that if we are in a humble circumstances and we were given chance to have a high position, then we should be proud of it. Likewise, if we are rich and is given a lowly position, we are to take pride of it. The pride that was mentioned here is equivalent to “glory” in other versions, while some like KJV did not even mentioned the word pride.
This just mean that the main point of the passage is that, even if we are poor, we are to rejoice over trials in his high spiritual standing before God. Likewise, a rich man should rejoice with his trials which allows him to see that life is not all about earthly wealth, but of our obedience to God.
Conclusion The word of our Lord today is simply a reminder for all of us, that facing trials in our daily lives are normal, thus, we do not have to panic nor it should affect our service to God. Let us read Matthew 6:25-34.