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JesusJames*.jpgDoubt that God is good renders a person’s faith unstable. Notice the terse, strong, and insightful words of James 1:6-8:

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

I have to confess: this verse is not intended to speak of the difficulties of doubt or the realities of doubt by genuine believers. But, it is describing what faith is like for those who do doubt. Here is what I see:


First, the one who doubts that God is good and seeks wisdom from God is blown in various directions by her or his doubts instead of heading straight to God (the port). This person will tend to listen to voices that question God’s goodness.

Second, the one who doubts that God is good and seeks wisdom from God will not find the wisdom that he or she needs. James says that very thing.

Third, the one who doubts that God is good and seeks wisdom from God cannot expect anything from God — it is an affront to ask God to be good in dispensing wisdom and not believe God is good.

Fourth, the one who doubts that God is good and seeks wisdom from God is a “dipsuchos” (a double-souled person) and unstable “in all his ways.” That is, doubt here can render a person speechless when words are needed, act-less when actions are needed, and indecisive when decisions are needed.

James is bold here. The passage may comfort many but it is also a stiff challenge to doubters to have the audacity to hope and trust in the goodness of God.

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