Doubt Is More Than Just Not Believing

What is doubt? The answer might surprise you. But doubt is not just not believing; doubt is not believing all the time.  

In James 1:16, we are told that if we ask God for something, we must ask Him in faith without any doubt, because the "one who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind." Verse 7 goes on to say that the man who doubts should not expect that he would receive anything from the Lord. Since doubting can keep us from receiving from God, it's imperative that we know exactly what the Bible is talking about when it refers to doubt in this passage. We know that the reference is to wavering and a divided way of thinking because James refers to waves being tossed by the wind as double-mindedness. But what does it mean to be double-minded?  

In my years of ministry, I have seen people look as though they are standing in great faith while at church on Sunday. Yet when the first phone call arrives on Monday, they are not so sure about God's promise. Then again, Monday evening while shopping, they by chance run into a church member who encourages them in the Word and once again, they appear strong in faith. But that night as they watch secular television, doubt creeps in and they go to bed worrying, only to wake up encouraged during their morning devotions. Then they lose all faith while having coffee with their unbelieving neighbor who tells them just how things look. This cycle continues until Sunday when they appear strong in faith again while at church.  

The truth is they spent their week like the waves of the sea, tossed back and forth between believing and doubting. The Word calls this being double-minded and says that this person is unstable in all of his or her ways.

Sadly, these are the people who usually can't understand why God hasn't answered their prayers because they are "in faith" every time they go to church, they've had the elders lay hands laid on them and pray for them, and they make great faith statements. The problem is they are not consistent.  

Faith is consistent. Faith does not waver. Faith does not give up. People of faith guard themselves against sources of doubt. If your faith is young and immature, and you want your faith to grow, the last thing you should do is associate with the New-Age person who lives in your neighborhood. You must guard your eye-gates and ear-gates when watching TV. You must monitor what you read. Remember, God always responds to faith and He never responds to doubt or unbelief - and participating in those kinds of things causes doubt and unbelief to grow in us.

"He who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (James 1:6-Cool.

While it is true that God does not respond to doubt, it is also true that the enemy constantly attacks all of us with doubting thoughts. We must remember that above all, God is a good God and He loves us. His goal is for us to be blessed and His grace is always with us to empower us and overcome the attacks of the enemy. As soon as a doubt arises, the enemy will add to it guilt and condemnation to make us feel unworthy. But here is the good news: The grace of God outperforms and overpowers the fears and doubts from the enemy. And when we turn to God, the assurance of His promise removes all doubt.