James 1:1-5 is a passage rich with words to those whom God has entrusted with leadership responsibilities. As stewards operating in leadership roles, it is wise to be constantly reminded we serve one Lord and one Savior, who is King over one Kingdom. Acknowledging we are bond-servants following the direction of our Lord helps us recognize we may be in an organizational leadership position, but our organizations do not belong to us. We need the Lord’s wisdom as we discern His direction, especially when we face inevitable trials, and must continually surrender to His Lordship over us and the organizations we steward.
James astounds us when he writes, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4). Trials come in all shapes and sizes; some of us experience circumstances that are difficult to imagine. I am privileged to work in an organization that strives to see every person have the opportunity to choose and follow Jesus. My spirit is broken, and I cry out to God when I hear of the trials my co-laborers face as they work to bring the Gospel to the least reached in some of the most dangerous places in the world. Yet, we are to have joy when we encounter trials because it bolsters our faith, strengthens us, and gives us the courage to follow our Lord in the amazing ways of His Kingdom.
I am relieved to know God is the source of wisdom and strength when leadership direction is needed during trials, troubles, and fierce tribulations. James tells us “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach…but he must ask in faith” (James 1:5-6). The wisdom spoken of here refers to the wonderful truths of God’s will as revealed through Scripture; it is the profound understanding that God provides what is necessary to give Him glory in every circumstance. There is an amazing peace knowing this wisdom is always available and present, and God gives it generously when we ask in faith.
As stewards in leadership roles, I pray we would continually seek God’s wisdom as we rejoice in the trials we encounter.
Howard Rich is the CFO of Global Disciples. Howard is a life-long advocate of generous living and desires to see Christians lead from a heart of stewardship and generosity.