Recently, I was on holiday with my family and we had such a good time that when the trip came to an end, we kept saying, “How time flies!” Then my five-year-old, Justin, said, “I wish time doesn’t fly, it just walks.” That was precious!
So we want to make sure that this year, time “walks”! We want to savor every moment and not waste a single day. Now if you’ve wasted days in 2017, take heart because you can redeem the time this year (see Eph. 5:16). How do you do that and make each day count? By walking in the hesed (grace) wisdom of God.
The Hebrew word hesed in the Bible is so rich with meaning that it has been translated as love, mercy, and lovingkindness. Hesed encompasses them all—it is the amazing grace of God, His unearned and undeserved favor. And this year, God wants to give you His wisdom so that you can walk in all the blessings of His hesed.
Beloved, God wants us to prioritize wisdom in 2018. Happy is the person who finds wisdom, because “length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace” (Prov. 3:16–17). As you make wisdom your number one pursuit this year, you won’t just redeem the time, but you will also enjoy long life, abundant provision, honor, pleasure (or pleasantness), and peace!
Now I’m not talking about worldly wisdom, but God’s hesed wisdom, wisdom that is reserved for His children. There is wisdom that causes you to be bitter, envious, and self-serving. Such wisdom, Scripture tells us, “does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. . . .But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:14–15, 17).
God’s wisdom is filled with His grace—peaceable, gentle, full of mercy and good fruits. Doesn’t that remind you of our loving Savior? Jesus is, after all, our grace and wisdom (see Titus 2:11, 1 Cor. 1:30). And because you are in Him, you have access to this hesed wisdom all the time.
So whatever situation you’re facing right now, whether it is a health challenge, an addiction, or a failing marriage, ask the Lord for hesed wisdom every day and see Him giving it to you liberally (see James 1:5). He is pleased when you humble yourself and ask for wisdom. To the lowly who look to Him for help, He gladly gives grace and wisdom (see James 4:6, Prov. 11:2 KJV)!
King Solomon humbled himself before God and asked for wisdom to govern God’s “great people” well. He called God’s people “great” but likened himself to “a little child who doesn’t know his way around” and asked the Lord for an “understanding heart” to govern God’s people well and know the difference between right and wrong (see 1 Kings 3:7–9 NLT). When you know that you don’t know much and ask God for wisdom, God can show you much. The Bible tells us this speech pleased the Lord and it still pleases Him today when we also humbly make it our prayer.
When I was studying Solomon’s request for wisdom, I saw something I never saw before. I always thought that when God asked Solomon what he wanted, Solomon asked for wisdom straight away. But that’s not the case. Before Solomon even asked for wisdom, he said to God, “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father. . . .You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day” (1 Kings 3:6).
Solomon actually acknowledged God’s great grace first, not once but twice, because the words mercy and kindness here are translated from the same Hebrew word hesed, which is God’s grace. This young king appreciated and had a revelation of God’s great hesed, and because of that, was able to ask for and receive divine wisdom.
My friend, perhaps you’ve not come to the Lord much in the past to ask Him for wisdom to resolve your challenges. Perhaps you’ve felt that your troubles are of your own making and that God is unwilling to help you, or worse, wants you to suffer for them. Nothing can be further from the truth!
God’s hesed wisdom is His grace gift to us. If you want to see grace in action, just look at Jesus. See how He sought and ministered to the Samaritan woman at the well, a woman shunned by her neighbors because of her life choices. See how He publicly became friends with Zacchaeus, a tax collector hated by his own people. See how He was called “friend of sinners” by the religious leaders of his day.
This tells me that Jesus, our hesed and our wisdom, is not threatened or put off by sin or human weaknesses. In fact, His hesed is drawn to our weaknesses. Instead of seeing your past mistakes disqualifying you from His wisdom, I pray you’ll get a fresh revelation of His hesed and see that your very weakness is your qualification to experience His great grace and wisdom for every challenge!
So don’t be afraid to come boldly to His throne of grace (not judgment) and receive His mercy, grace, and wisdom to turn your challenges around. To all who ask, Scripture says that God gives His wisdom generously, “without finding fault” (James 1:5 NIV). Beloved, when His great grace and wisdom invade your negative situations, you’ll see His great power unleashed to deliver you from every kind of sin, addiction, pit, or captivity (see Acts 4:33)!
This year, I pray that as you grow in your understanding of God’s hesed, you will walk not only in wisdom that is God’s blessing of grace, but also in His wisdom that is full of grace. And you can depend on it to show you what is in the hearts of people as well as the heart of the matters you need to deal with.
You know, after Solomon received wisdom from God, he had to judge the case of two women, both of whom claimed to be the mother of a baby (see 1 Kings 3:16–28). I don’t know how many people realize this, but both women were actually prostitutes, outcasts of society, and the king very likely had more “important” cases to judge that day.
Solomon could have thrown both harlots out, but he didn’t. With compassion, he took the time to judge their case, and with God’s wisdom, was able to accurately see the hearts of the women. In so doing, the innocent baby was saved and reunited with his real mother.
This year, as we walk in hesed wisdom, let’s also ask God for a large heart to be patient with others lest we become impatient or proud. Scripture tells us that “God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore” (1 Kings 4:29, boldface mine). It wasn’t just wisdom. God also gave Solomon a gracious heart.
When you have God’s wisdom, you will be able to see what others don’t see. But when you have a large heart, you won’t be puffed up by it. You won’t be demanding of your spouse, children, or others, “Why can’t you see it? What’s wrong with you?!” Instead, you’ll be patient and kind, knowing that it is by God’s grace that your eyes have been opened.
When God puts hesed wisdom into your spirit this year, you will start to see things according to their true nature. For example, if you like to smoke or party late into the night because you think it’s cool, you might be led to say, “What am I doing? I’m made for higher things than this!”
Perhaps you are in a relationship or caught up with activities (or even thoughts) that are not healthy for you. When God drops His wisdom into you, it’ll be like bam! His divine insight comes in and you see things for what they are. You will wake up and be led by His Spirit to stop wasting time. When God’s wisdom comes in, every bondage will fall off. You will start to live your life with purpose and make each day count!
Beloved, I pray you will receive into your heart what God has for you this year. May you walk in hesed wisdom throughout 2018 and experience length of days, abundant provision, honor, pleasure, and peace. I encourage you to read the book of Proverbs. It’s God’s wisdom condensed into thirty-one chapters, one chapter to feed on for each day of the month.
Meditate on any verse that speaks to your heart, always thanking the Lord for His wisdom, unmerited favor, mercy, and lovingkindness. Right in those verses, you will find Him speaking into your very area of need. You’ll find Him imparting His life-giving wisdom for the decisions you need to make and the situations you’re concerned about.
This year, as we press in to the Lord for a greater revelation of His great grace and ask Him for hesed wisdom in our lives, get ready to see His great power and resurrection life supplying all your needs and bringing restoration to every area of brokenness. By His hesed wisdom, we will “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time” (Eph. 5:15–16) especially in these dark days, and experience all of His hesed blessings in every area of life! Amen!
Resting in His grace,
To hear Joseph share more about 2018 being the year of hesed wisdom, watch the video clip below:
We also encourage you to listen to the message, the Year of Hesed Wisdom , in full.