Monday, December 15, 2008

Faith Without Doubting

{James 1:5-8; ESV}
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 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. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

What does it mean to have faith without doubting? It can be explained like this. There were two men who married their high school sweetheart. The first man had a wandering eye, and when trouble began to come in his marriage he was able to spot a better situation. It wasn’t long before the second marriage was just like the first, and once again the man left to find something better. He went from relationship to relationship without finding what he was looking for, and when it came time for him to face death he faced it terrified and alone.

The second man made an oath to himself and to God that he would love his wife no matter what happened. When trials and troubles came the man talked with his wife and worked things out. Time passed and their love grew. Soon their house was filled with children. The man made another vow to himself and to God that he would always love his children. When trouble and trials arose he talked with his children and taught them right from wrong. When it came time for the man to face death he faced it surrounded by people who loved him. He died happy and loved.

The first man never made a commitment to his high school sweetheart, and so when trouble began to surface in the relationship it was very easy for him to doubt. He doubted his love for her, her love for him, her faithfulness, her goodness, and their future. Doubts arose because he was not committed to the relationship.

The second man was able to enjoy a life long love affair with his high school sweetheart because he had committed his life and heart to her. When trouble arose he was confident about his love for her, her love for him, her goodness, and her faithfulness. His confidence was the product of his commitment.

Doubting, in context to our relationship with God, isn’t about feelings of uncertainty, but it is about a lack of commitment to God. Remember we are limited in our understanding of who God is and what He is doing. In other words we are going to have questions about how God is working in our lives, but when we are committed to God we will be confident that God will work out His good purposes in the end.

The person who is not committed to God will allow uncertainty to carry him away, and he will find other avenues to explain life for him. This is seen in the person who is always jumping on the latest fad. He has dabbled in Christianity, checked out Mormonism, flirted with New Age teachings, and tested the waters of atheism. His lack of commitment keeps pushing him from one philosophy to another, and he can never get a handle on what he truly believes.

What is important then is not that we remove all our questions and uncertainties, but that we are committed to God no matter what happens. That type of commitment inspires confidence because it allows us to experience God at work, not only in our lives, but also in the world around us. Our study of Scripture along with this personal experience shows us that God can be trusted, which, in turn, strengthens our confidence.

Don’t worry about the questions you may have when it comes to God, and don’t think you will be able to remove all uncertainty about how God is working in the world. Questions and uncertainty will be part of our lives in our present condition. The only way we can overcome these things is by commitment. When we are committed then we will stick with God no matter what happens, rather than being blown around by the winds of this world.
  • Point to Ponder: Commitment is how we overcome doubt.
  • Passage to Remember: James 1:5-8
  • Prayer to Prayer: Father in Heaven, give me the wisdom I need to evaluate my commitment to You...


Kari said...

I completely agree. Great illustration! What a perfect reminder to be fully committed and devoted to Him - no matter what. Thanks for sharing...

jehan said...

I know this is an old post, but I needed this - perfect time for me "stumble upon" (be led to) your blog.

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