November 14, 2009

True Wisdom for Troubled Times

can't be Answered by Google On top of the global financial crisis we now have a global pandemic and life is getting more complicated. For the average person, this present flu pandemic seems like a no-win situation. Either one can take his or her chances with an untested vaccine, with questionable ingredients, or one can take chances by facing a potentially deadly virus without a vaccine. There’s a need for wisdom and not all answers can be found in a Google search. The good news is that there is a true source of wisdom, much more reliable than the TV talking heads or political weblogs. That source is God. God gave Solomon incredible wisdom when He prayed for it and the same can be true for us today. Not only that, the same God who gives wisdom also gives inner peace and joy regardless of the circumstances.
A Wake-up Call

For many people, the present difficult times offer an opportunity to consider personal beliefs and values. People living just for their own pleasure or for materialism may see their world fall apart as health and wealth are threatened. In the very beginning of the book of Proverbs, the book of wisdom, it shows how trials can help to shake us up in a good way:  “Turn you at my reproof: Behold, I will pour out my spirit upon you; I will make known my words unto you.” (Proverbs 1.23, ASV) Have trials in your life made you more open to seeking God’s word to know what it says? Proverbs offers a remarkable promise: “But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” (Proverbs 1.33, NLT)

These words of Solomon, written approximately 900 BC, were echoed almost a millennium later by Jesus Christ. He said He would give His Spirit who would make known His words and His wisdom (John 14.26) and said He would take away all of our fear (1 John 4.18). The Apostle Paul showed how the spirit of wisdom is found in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1.17) But even more than this, he said we can actually have the mind of Christ as Christian believers: “For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16, NLT)

If it is true that the essence of wisdom is to know the mind of Christ, then the main question is “How can I experience the mind of Christ in my life?” As a Christian believer, you can see some powerful keys to living with the mind of Christ as you look at the context of that verse. At the beginning of the chapter says: “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2, NIV)

The Cross, the locus point of wisdom

The cross is the crux of the matter, the locus point of God’s wisdom. Here God satisfied the conditions of redemption and proved the reality of His love. At a certain point, the fullness of human history, God broke through the time-space continuum and forever altered the spiritual make-up of the world. The wisdom of the cross is beyond the wisdom of words, it is a mystery that was hidden and ordained before the world began (1 Corinthians 1:17, 2:7). In biology, DNA is considered the information blueprint of life. In a similar way, the gospel reveals the true meaning and purpose of life in its very essence.

The personal assurance of salvation is a key aspect of how we are to think and operate. The cross of Christ is the source of our freedom from sin and death and the power of darkness. God’s blood paid the price for all of our sin and bought for us the righteousness of Christ. It’s a done deal, it’s truly amazing. The cross is the starting point of new life and redemption. And it’s also a place we need to regularly look back to, especially in taking communion, as we consider how God forever proved His love towards us.

The “helmet of salvation” is mentioned in Ephesians 6.17.The mind is a spiritual battlefield and our main victory in the battle is the realization of all that our salvation in Christ means. It’s truly mind blowing when we meditate on the word of God and all that He has done for us. When we are in the right frame of mind we are filled with faith, hope and God’s wisdom. And like a helmet, we are protected from satanic fears and doubts as we live in the reality of the knowledge of salvation. The cross was a place of spiritual victory: “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2.15, NKJV) The cross is also our place of spiritual victory received through Jesus Christ.

The cross is a source of God’s wisdom, victory and stability as we see the big picture of life: “Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, And the strength of salvation; The fear of the LORD is His treasure.” (Isaiah 33.6, NKJV) When you realize you have salvation in Christ and you realize He is your main treasure, all the rest is small stuff. I mean, think about it. The worst that could happen is that you may die from a virus. But, in reality, you would then be in heaven in the fullness of God’s presence. Is that so bad? We have a treasure that cannot be taken away, our eternal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Knowing God, the Beginning of Wisdom

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” (1 Corinthians 2.12, NKJV) The spirit of the world rejects the reality of God and Jesus Christ, but the realization that God exists is the beginning of wisdom: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9.10, NKJV)

The Bible says rejecting God is foolish, and it is. There is no way that the ordered universe came from nothing by accident. This idea breaks the laws of physics on many levels. Atheists have not only blind faith but irrational faith. When God is in the equation, the reality of the ordered universe makes sense, it’s rational. Philosophers have tried to explain the meaning of life without God for ages and each new generation has a different explanation.

But when a person is open to God, the teachings of Jesus Christ and the person of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit then dwells inside. Jesus called this being born again. This gift of the Holy Spirit gives us revelation knowledge in all areas of life. The Holy Spirit helps us not only to know God the Father but also to understand His plan for our lives. Galatians 5 teaches us how to “walk in the Spirit” so as to be guided day by day moment by moment enjoying God’s presence.

The Scriptures, Building Blocks of Wisdom

As God begins to open up the scriptures to us, we grow in our knowledge as the Holy Spirit shows us how different verses relate to each other: “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 2.13)

Later in 1 Corinthians 3.1-2 Paul shows how spiritual knowledge is progressive. You begin by learning basic truths and God adds more and more. As we grow in our knowledge of God’s word, we grow in maturity and our sense of discernment increases. (Hebrews 5.14) All of God’s word is good for instruction, every book in the Bible, and the book of Proverbs is especially helpful in terms of growing in wisdom.

We are encouraged in Proverbs to seek wisdom, not like one laboriously studying in school, but, rather like one passionately prospecting for precious gems: “For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.” (Proverbs 8.11) As we take in God’s word it becomes a part of us. In biology, cells are considered the building blocks of life. In a similar way, God’s scriptures and promises become a very part of our spiritual makeup as they are opened up to us. James called the word of God the “engrafted word.” (James 1.21)


By simply knowing God and abiding in Him, we can live with confidence even in troubled times.A key to making right decisions in life is to live by faith with the mind of Christ. There are some situations which seem insurmountable but God can give peace and wisdom for each situation. Both Solomon and Jesus had situations where there seemed to be no possible answer and God's wisdom is shown in how they resolved the problems. (1 Kings 3.16-28, John 8.3-12, Matthew 22.17-22) James 1.5 says "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."

God did not promise a peace that comes from our own understanding, but, rather a peace that passes our human understanding (Philippians 4.7). There are some times in our life that we simply need to trust God. Charles Spurgeon highlighted how simply trusting in God is true wisdom, based on Proverbs 16:20: “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.” (KJV) Spurgeon clarifies: “We are not to be idle…acting in all prudence and in all uprightness, we are to rely simply and entirely upon him.” It should be noted that our simple trust in God does not mean we should desire to be naive about the dangers of the world. Jesus said "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." (Matthew 10.16 NIV)


Lord God, You are my strength and my shield – in You I trust. Your word says I have been given the mind of Christ, the mind of wisdom. Show me your will with regard to critical decisions I must make concerning the financial crisis and the pandemic. You are truly the Shepherd of my soul. Thank You for your peace which surpasses understanding. Give me and my family your divine guidance and protection. I ask that You use these troubled times for good, to show people that You are the way, the truth and the life. I ask all these things in harmony with the name above all names, Jesus Christ, amen.


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