Here is a question that the Bible directly answers in scripture. In James 1:5, James writes, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James states that if someone wants wisdom, that he may ask God and God will give him wisdom. James doesn’t, however, state “how” God gives wisdom; neither does James state that prayer is the ONLY way through which we can get wisdom. James simply says to ask for it if you lack it and God will do the giving. But how does God give wisdom?
In the past, God gave wisdom directly to those who were inspired. In Daniel 2:23, Daniel thanks God for the wisdom that God had miraculously given to Him. He says, “I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast now made known unto me what we desired of thee; for thou hast made known unto us the king’s matter.” Peter also tells us that God had inspired Paul with wisdom to write his epistles in 2 Peter 3:15, 16: “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” God also gave Jesus great wisdom prompting some to ask from where such wisdom originated: “And when the sabbath was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, Whence hath this man these things? and, What is the wisdom that is given unto this man, and what mean such mighty works wrought by his hands?” (Mark 6:2). Paul also wrote concerning miraculous wisdom that was given by the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:8: “For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit.” With the cessation of miraculous gifts (1 Corinthians 13:8-10) also came the cessation of miraculous wisdom. Does God give wisdom directly today? One might just as well argue that God gives knowledge directly as he would that God gives wisdom directly today.
However, God does give wisdom in other ways. Just as God once gave knowledge directly by inspiration, which knowledge is now contained within His word, so also God, who gave wisdom by inspiration, has also left much wisdom for us in His word. The writer of the book of Proverbs states plainly that if one desires to know wisdom, that he should study that book. Proverbs 1:1-3 state: “The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity�.” Paul also spoke concerning the wisdom that was revealed through the gospel in 1 Corinthians 6:7, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.” Finally, Paul teaches that within the mystery of Christ “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).
Are there other ways in which God makes wisdom known? Yes. In Ephesians 3:10 Paul writes that God makes known His wisdom through the church. “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” We also may gain wisdom through our cumulative lifetime experiences. If we believe that all things work together for good for the Christian (Romans 8:28), then God may also use “all things” to give wisdom as well.
God gives wisdom! What a great and wonderful blessing. May we ever look for and expect the wisdom of God in our lives.