For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;

the more knowledge, the more grief.

Ecclesiastes 1:18

The book of Ecclesiastes is a book about learning; through the course of this volume of wisdom the Preacher, our main character, ponders all the ways a man can find satisfaction in his mortal life. Money, companionship, work, wisdom. He studies all these things and finds there is no mortal activity that can bring true completeness to the heart.

It seemed to him that the more he learned, the more he found out just how little he really understood.

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

James 1:4-5

James, the brother of Jesus, was not one who was able to fully recognize Jesus while he yet lived, but he became a Christian leader whose letter we still study today; the wisdom he attained was not merely made from his own studies. Had that been sufficient, there would have been no opposition among the scribes or teachers of the law.

No, James says that wisdom is generously given by God, and by that wisdom we persevere and become mature and complete. This is contrasted with the man-made wisdom of the preacher. His knowledge was gathered with the motive of self-satisfaction but God dispenses wisdom with the objective of our maturity, that is to say the next proper stage of growth!

Where worldly wisdom reveals more pain and trouble stretched out ahead, Godly wisdom grants a Heavenly perspective to see the end goal of those present trials and inspire perseverance.

Ethan Kirl