Paul Harvey was probably one of the most distinctive voices in American radio. His lively newscasts and his unique delivery gave him a special niche in the lives of millions of listeners. But he did more than news. He is also known for the true stories that he told, often from American history. But he didn’t let you know what the surprising subject of the story was until the end. There’s a trademark phrase that accompanied Paul Harvey’s great stories. He concluded it this way: “And that’s the rest of the story.”
I’m Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about “How to Get the Rest of the Story.”
You didn’t really have the whole picture until Paul Harvey gave you the real story; the rest of the story. There are so many times in our lives when we have decisions to make and we wish we had the rest of the story – like the whole picture. Every day we have to make choices based on what we can see, knowing that there’s so much we don’t know and so much we don’t see.
But there’s someone who knows the rest of the story, and who’s willing and able to guide you in your decisions. He’s promised it in James 1:5, our word for today from the Word of God. God says, “If any of you lacks wisdom (man, that’s me many times a day!) he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given him.” What an awesome promise from God, that if I go to Him in faith, asking for His wisdom regarding this person or this situation, or this decision, I can download God’s perspective and He knows the whole story!
Solomon really models for us the way to be much smarter than we are. In 1 Kings 3, he has just become the king of Israel, following in the gigantic footsteps of his father, King David. His subjects have no idea how scared he feels; how inadequate he feels… much like we often do as parents, or leaders, as a people helper, as a teacher.
So Solomon goes to God, who has all the answers, all the resources he doesn’t have. Solomon says: “Now, O Lord my God, You have made your servant king… But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people You have chosen… So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong” (1 Kings 3:7-9). The Bible goes on to say that God made Solomon the wisest man of his time; a leader who was sought by other leaders who traveled many, many miles to see him.
Here’s what Solomon shows us as the steps to getting God’s wisdom. First, you humbly admit your ignorance and your powerlessness even if you’re number one where you are. Secondly, you acknowledge, as Solomon did, that everything and everyone in this situation is God’s. “I’m Your servant,” He said, “these are “Your people.” Thirdly, desperately seek His wisdom. When you do, God will give you breakthrough insight into that situation, into that person. He will add to what you know all He knows and guide your heart to wise, “no regrets” conclusions.
But you have to, as James says, “ask God.” We’re so often entangled, trying to figure things out; we’re so overwhelmed by trying to decide, we neglect to go to God humbly for His wisdom. He’s promised He’ll give it if we ask in faith, believing He will give it to you.
What a gift from God – His wisdom, the God given ability to look at a person or a situation through His all-knowing eyes. Is it any wonder that Solomon said, “Though it cost you all you have, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7).