Doubt is Not a Bad Thing

I have just returned from a cycling trip and I am still marveling at the beauty we can see when we travel by bicycle. I was able to climb elevation (with pedal assistance!) up to 4,000 feet along the Croatian Islands. As I looked down (made me dizzy!) I marveled at God’s creation.

This week in Drawing Near, we will be looking at the passage in James 1:6-8. This has been an amazing journey through God’s Word this semester.

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. 

James was once an unbeliever. He was the half-brother of Jesus and did not recognize or believe that Jesus was the Son of God. Guess it would be hard to believe that your half-brother whom you watched grow up could be the Son of God! But James came to believe and was zealous for Christ. Perhaps because of his own unbelief, he could write this with such authenticity.

James was not saying that as believers in Jesus, we will never doubt. We all doubt at times. We all question: Is God listening? Does He care? Will He ever answer my heartfelt prayer? This is the state of believers. There are times when we struggle with doubt. But doubt is not the opposite of faith. The opposite of faith is unbelief. The Greek word for doubt that he uses is Diakerino and it implies judging. Referring to unbelievers who are tossed about trying to determine/judge whether or not they believe in God, or believe only in themselves or the wisdom of the world. He is not referring to believers who have seasons or days of doubting God.

I have been waiting for a prayer to be answered for years. I was certain that God would do something quickly and nothing happened. But what has happened is that I am drawing nearer to Him. I am learning to trust His goodness; His higher YES. The answers we get in prayer may not be what we want or think we want, but Father knows best. In the meantime, He is shaping and molding us to be more like Him IF (and that it is significant) we are willing to trust HIm. The way that we grow in trust, is to spend time in His Word and in listening prayer.


Friends, God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for our sins; to reconcile us to Himself. He sent His very best. He understands when you struggle with doubt, and He will take you from seasons of feeling as though you are being tossed about in a storm of doubt and bring you to shore safe and sound. He also loves the unbeliever; the person who doubts that He exists and who is in a storm surge trying to get through life. We see this in the story beginning in Mark 9:14 of the boy with the deaf and mute spirit who answers Jesus by saying, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief.” The father believed God could heal his son, and he asked Jesus to help him overcome all unbelief.

So whether or not you are a Christian who has seasons or days of doubting; or you are an unbeliever who is judging or deciding whether or not God is real, the Lord is ever present with His arms open to draw you to Himself.

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