Create in Me a Heart of Wisdom


Excerpt taken from Create in Me a Heart of Wisdom by Grace P. Cho for (in)courage.

Week 3
Wisdom is Learned Through Experience

When I’m in the thick of despair, I often think about how disorienting it must have been for Jesus’s disciples after He died. They listened to Jesus and followed Him everywhere for three years, knowing Him inti­mately while not quite understanding Him (Mark 9:5-10; Luke 22:24-34; John 14:9), and now their beloved Teacher was dead. He had been nailed, pierced, and buried in a tomb. How could it be? they might have wondered. What were they supposed to do now? And what about ev­erything they had been taught by Jesus and had believed in? Was any of it true anymore?

I find comfort in their despondency because even those who were once closest to Jesus were people of little faith and needed help believing. And Jesus didn’t condemn them for it. Instead, He met their disbelief with His presence and power.

When a storm threatened to capsize their boat, Jesus woke up from His nap and calmed the wind and the waves. When a hungry crowd needed to be fed and the disciples had nothing to offer, Jesus multiplied bread and fed them all with plenty left over-and He did this twice (Mark 6:30-44; 8: 1-13). When Thomas, who missed out on Jesus’s first appear­ance to the disciples after the resurrection, doubted the other disciples’ testimony, Jesus appeared in the room where they were gathered (John 20:24-29). These are just a few examples, and each time He loved them through their despair, disbelief, and doubts.

God has done the same for me. I can attest to His presence and power helping me believe when I couldn’t muster the energy or faith. During a season of barely surviving each day while constantly grieving-the unexpected end of lifelong dreams, the deaths of loved ones, and the undercurrent of anxiety and depression — He sustained me. He gave specific words of encouragement through friends and through the ran­dom prayers of faraway acquaintances. He reminded me I wasn’t alone through a coffee gift card from one of my mentees. He provided break­throughs in my mental health and my marriage in the form of therapy and miracles.

Our struggles aren’t scary for God. He isn’t appalled by our doubts. He actually gives us faith in those moments when we’re barely hanging on by a thread. Wisdom is knowing that God is still God even when we struggle, run away, hide, and even deny Him (as Peter did in Luke 22:54-62). God’s love doesn’t waver, His faithfulness stays true, and His presence is the power we need to make it through anything.

What a God we have!

Read the verse for today (Proverbs 9:10). How do hardships help us see God rightly? How does that lead to wisdom?

The phrase “fear of the LORD” from Proverbs 9:10 can feel convoluted. It may bring up images of a scary God we should be afraid of because of His might and holiness. Or perhaps it leads us to think we should have a healthy sense of fear for Him out of respect and honor (and also because He could zap us in righteous anger). These ideas are often affirmed by the kind of parents we had, the type of church environment we grew up in or currently attend, and the view of God preached and taught from the pulpit and in the books and media we consume.

But having a fear of the Lord is having a correct view of who God is and being in awe of Him because of who He is. Yes, He is holy and powerful, but He is also loving, kind, gentle, humble, gracious and able to provide everything we need. He doesn’t use His holiness and power against us, and one quality or character of His can’t outdo or cancel out the others. The more we know Him and understand His heart for us, the more we will be able to see His magnificence and goodness.

When we have a clear view of God and trust that He is who He says He is, our perspective begins to shift. We see things with clarity – our situations, ourselves, our limitations, and even our blessings. Our circumstances may stay the same, but when our faces are turned toward His face and our eyes are brightened by His light, we see that He is all we need.

He is everything we need.

Read John 14:1-11. When Philip tells Jesus that seeing the Father would be enough, how does Jesus prove that He is enough?

SCRIPTURE MEMORY MOMENT

Write out James 1:2-4. What trial are you facing today where you need God’s wisdom and the power of His presence.

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

GOD, thank You for being everything I need. Thank You that my doubts and struggles are not an obstacle for Your love and grace. Instead, when I can’t hold on any longer because my hands are weak and I’ve been emptied, Your presence is with me and Your power gives me strength to carry on. When the pain of my circumstances blurs my vision, help me see You as You are. Let that be the beginning of wisdom for me. Amen.

Create in Me a Heart of Wisdom ©2023 by Grace P Cho for (in)courage. Used by permission of Baker Publishing.

 

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