FROM THE PULPIT: God's wisdom helps us understand trials and challenges

By Rev. Mark Broadhead | First Presbyterian Church of Crestview

I once read about a photographer for a national magazine who was assigned to “shoot” one of those big western forest fires. He was told that a small plane would be waiting to fly him over the fire.

When he got to the airport, sure enough, he found a little Cessna waiting. He jumped in with his equipment and shouted, “Let’s go!”  The pilot, the plane, and the photographer were soon in the air.

The photographer shouted, “Fly over the north side of the fire and make several low passes!”

“Why?” the nervous pilot asked.

He replied, “Because I’m going to take pictures! I’m a photographer, and photographers take pictures.”

After a long pause, the pilot tensely asked, “You mean, you’re not the instructor?”

There are times when our trust is misguided and misplaced. We make assumptions about someone’s abilities or the message they are conveying, and it is not until later that we discover they were actually blowing a lot of smoke trying to manipulate us for one reason or another.

In Matthew 7:15 Jesus warned, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Then in Matthew 15:14 he said, “If one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.”

When we realize we have placed our trust in the wrong person or situation, it is then that lessons can be learned – or not. When lessons are learned, they develop into wisdom.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to be wise. But the wisdom we are to have and express is the kind of wisdom that comes from God. We need to have wisdom from God to better understand the trials and challenges that come into our lives.

We are challenged to ask God for a deep understanding of what is going on and the best way to handle it. We are to ask God to help us find the good that can come from the situation. And as we do, we will gain the wisdom that comes only from God.

When you ask, the Letter of James (James 1:6–7) reminds you to, “Ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” You are to ask, knowing and believing God will give it to you.

In whom do you place your ultimate trust? In God alone. From whom do you seek wisdom for living this life? From God alone. God is absolutely trustworthy. God is all–wise. You can count on this!

Mark Broadhead

The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.