James 1:6 - Faith vs Doubt.
James 1:6 - Faith vs Doubt.
James 1:6 (NJB) But the prayer must be made with faith, and no
trace of doubt, because a person who has doubts is like the waves
thrown up in the sea by the buffeting of the wind.
James 1:6 (TEV) But when you pray, you must believe and not
doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven
and blown about by the wind.
James 1:6 (NLT) But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is
in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as
unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
Bible Verses About Doubt or Doubting
Opposites attract! That's what the world tells us, and yet
when it comes to doubt, it cannot co-exist with its opposite-faith.
Doubt cannot inhabit where faith exists. According to 2 Corinthians
5:7 (ESV), "...we walk by faith, not by sight." God calls us to live a
life of faith and trust--never doubt!! Disbelief and doubt come from
fear, and fear paralyzes, restricts, and prevents us from doing what
we need to do. God does not want us to live with any fear
whatsoever. Like even a little bit of dirt makes water undrinkable, so one
drop of doubt can also make our faith weak and ineffective. In
Hebrews 11:1 (ESV), the author defines it by saying, "...faith is the
assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." He goes
on from there to list a "hall of fame" of biblical figures who
exemplified walking by faith. They were able to overcome doubt, and we
should do the same. Here are some of the top Bible verses about doubt,
as God encourages us to "walk by faith" and leave "living by sight"
John 20:27 (NIV) Then he [Jesus] said to Thomas, "Put your
finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side.
Stop doubting and believe."
When it comes to famous Scriptures and individuals that
struggled with doubt, one of the first people to come to mind will often
be Thomas. Some hinted around the fact that they were struggling to
believe, but, in spite of being a disciple of Jesus, Thomas had serious
doubts about Jesus' resurrection, and he stated them overtly to the
other disciples. He was not present when Jesus first appeared to the
other disciples after his resurrection, so he did not believe them
when they shared that they had seen Jesus. So when Jesus does finally
appear to him, Thomas is reminded of his own words and is told to not
only look at Jesus' wounds but to touch him as well. This is a clear
example of Jesus himself telling Thomas, and us, not to doubt but rather
to believe. God does not want "disbelief" to be in our vocabulary.
He wants us to have faith and believe in Him and in what He tells
us, whether we can "see" it or not.
Matthew 14:31 (ESV) Jesus immediately reached out his hand
and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did
Another important Biblical character that can teach us a lot
about doubt and faith is Peter. Matthew 14:31 is the famous passage
where Peter gets out of the boat in faith and obedience to Jesus and
actually walks on water. However, after only a few steps, he takes his
eyes off of Jesus, and begins looking at the high waves (and his
circumstances) around him, and fear and doubt rush in to overwhelm him. He then
starts to sink and drown, and he calls out for Jesus to save him. This
verse is Jesus' response to him for doubting and also his response to
all of us when we doubt Him as well. Personally, I have seen God
help me through some very difficult times, and then some new
challenge crops up and I am filled with fear and doubt once again. Why do
I do this? Why do I doubt my Lord and Savior when He has always
been so faithful? This is the eternal question that God asks all of
us. Why do we doubt him, when He is always so faithful?
James 1:6 (ESV) But let him ask in faith, with no doubting,
for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and
tossed by the wind.
The book of James carries a strong message about faith, and
it even begins by stating, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you
meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your
faith produces steadfastness" (James 1:2-3). The apostle goes on to
say that when we ask for wisdom from the Lord to handle these
trials, we should not doubt that we will receive it. Disbelief and
doubting are synonymous, and they cause us to be tossed around, aimlessly
wandering, struggling, wondering, fearful, uncertain and unsure. Faith in
God, however, brings hope, life, purpose and worthy goals into our
lives. The enemy wants us to live hopeless, fearful lives, but God came
to give us "life and life more abundantly" (John 10:10). A life of
faith is a life without doubt. Where God reigns, doubt disappears and
faith rules. Like a ship on a steady course towards its home port, so
faith leads us straight to our eternal home.
Doubt and faith are opposite concepts, and they cannot
co-exist in the Kingdom of God. These opposites repel each other, and
they should not be lived in tandem. We have all felt like the father
Jesus was talking to in Mark 9:24 who cried out, "I believe; help my
unbelief!" There are points in our life when our faith is strong, and we
believe without a doubt. But then we also have times where doubt creeps
in, and we cry out to the Lord to "help our unbelief." The good news
is that God answers prayer, and He wants us to have faith. In fact,
He commands us to "not doubt, but believe," because He knows how
much more abundant our lives will be when we are full of faith... It is
clear that God wants us to avoid them and instead hold on to the
opposite--FAITH!! What will you choose? Will you walk by sight or will you walk
faith? by Karla Hawkins (see complete article at:
DOUBT NEEDS TO BE CHALLENGED
Whatever we do, we must not let any lurking doubts go
unchallenged. Pascal said: "Doubt is an unhappy state, but there is an
indispensable duty to seek when we are in doubt, and thus anyone who doubts
and does not seek is at once unhappy and in the wrong."
How do we go about resolving doubts? One way is to bring them
to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to help us overcome them. If
prayer does not dissolve them, apply the tactic which Nehemiah adopted:
"So we prayed to our God and stationed a guard" (Neh 4:9). Take a
verse of Scripture that is the opposite of your doubt and hold it in
the center of your mind, repeating it to yourself many times
throughout the day. Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones once said: "Have you realized
that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are
listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? We must talk to
ourselves instead of allowing ourselves to talk to us!"
In listening to our doubts instead of talking to them, we
fall prey to the same temptation that caught Adam and Eve off guard
in the garden of Eden. The order of creation was stood on its head
when the first human pair allowed themselves to be dictated to by the
animal world (in the form of the serpent), when, in fact, they had been
put in a position to dictate to it.
Don't let your doubts dictate to you. Turn the tables and
dictate to them. Talk to them with words from the Word of God.
Father, help me never to be nonplussed, for in You there are
ways to overcome every problem. Drive the truth I have learned today
deeply into my spirit so that I may apply it whenever I am faced with
doubt. In Jesus' name. Amen. [Every Day With Jesus Bible with Selwyn
Hughes devotional re Heb. 4:12]
I woke up in one of those dreadful moods, already prejudiced
against the day ahead. I spoke to the Lord about it - asked Him to
jump-start my spirit and help my attitude shift. Nothing. I still felt like
the day was out to get me.
Sometime later, I decided to pull out some index cards with
Scripture verses on them, words that God had used to speak encouragement
to me at critical moments in various situations. I read through
each one, remembering the power I felt when they impacted me at those
moments. Little by little, my attitude shifted. The day wasn't out to get
me; I was sent into the day by a powerful God who had already
ordained my steps. Whatever happened on this day, I would overcome.
The Spirit of God is always with us and in us, but sometimes
we can sense His practical Presence only in the Word He inspired.
God is present when we read His Word and affirm its truth, when we
let the living power of the Word sink into us and shape us. It's
entirely possible to read and study the Bible without experiencing this
living power - plenty of Pharisees, philosophers, and skeptics have
done so throughout history, and so have we at times. But when the
Word lands in the fertile ground of faith in our hearts, things
change. God goes to work. He inhabits the words He has spoken, and they
take on a vitality that transforms.
If you're in need of God's Presence, you can always find it
one way or another in His revelation. Don't just read His words; let
them speak. Let them change your day - and your life.
Lord, I need to experience the living power of Your Word.
Whenever I thirst for You, lead me to the verses that reveal Your voice
for that moment. Use them to shape me from within. [The One Year
Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by Chris Tiegreen re Heb. 4:12]
The faith of the disciples in the storm with Jesus was
diminished by doubt, and so they were men of "little faith:" Faith is vital
to the Christian life, and when it is weakened by doubt, the
Christian's spiritual vitality is sapped. A shallow faith can give a false
sense of security. The disciples believed they were safe as long as
Jesus was awake. They were not appropriating safety in Jesus at all
times. In reality, doubt leaves one with no real trust in Christ.
Seeing his serenity in sleep amid the threat of disaster, they doubted
his concern for them. When adversity threatens, doubt nullifies his
promises and his assurance. A doubting faith enables one to meet
difficulty but is not sufficient to carry one through to the end. The
disciples' faith got them involved with Jesus, but their faith wavered in
the storm. It is at the critical moment that "little faith" plays
out. By proper testing and exercise "little faith" will grow like the
mustard seed to greater stature. Because every child of God is able to
defeat the world. And we win the victory over the world by means of our
faith. 1 John 5.4 [Daily Devotional Bible re Mat.8:26]
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