Living for the Glory of God ~ Vivir para la Gloria de Dios

Faith Without Doubt ~ A Devotional from James 1:6-8

But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.
~ James 1:6-8
Explanation of the Text: With awe, we read these particular verses, because they convey the depths of the relationship between God and His people. In the midst of trials, James previously urged believers to seek God and ask for wisdom if one lacks understanding of the significance of these trials that are meant to develop maturity and completeness. Readers are ensured that God is both generous and giving, and so one can come to him in confidence and expectation that God will answer such a prayer. However, James warns that one should not ask in doubt.
A prayer in faith is not faithful merely because of the character of the person making the prayer, but because of the character of the one receiving the prayer. Believers come to the Lord in prayer confident that his generosity will be shown through his answer as the result of his grace and mercy. God has proven himself faithful from generation to generation and thus there is no need to doubt God.

In contrast to asking in faith are those who doubt. Such a person expects his or her prayers to remain unanswered, and they will be proven correct because they do not ask in sincere belief. James describes this person as unstable in all his ways. Without confidence in the Lord’s faithfulness and ability, one is left to trust in his or her own capabilities. Limited beings though who are fallible means that circumstances reach beyond one’s own control, they are tossed and driven by the circumstances of life.

Examination & Application of the Text: The basis for salvation is faith in the Lord and a trust that he will fulfill that which he has promised. That same faith should influence and impact the prayers made by believers. Throughout history, God has proven himself as one who cares for his people and will listen to them (just consider the account of the Exodus and wandering in the desert). Therefore, believers enduring the suffering of trials have the ability to come to the Lord and ask for wisdom during the intensity of those trials (v. 5) but they must do so without doubt (v.6).

It is easy to say that believers should simply trust God. Trust though, is indicative of a relationship. Trust is built from seeing the character of a person played out in a real and personal way. The same is true of our relationship with God. If there is no relationship with him, there will be no trust in him. Therefore, the first step to trusting the Lord with one’s prayers is to develop a relationship with him through conversation with him (i.e. allow God to speak to you through his word and speak to him through your prayer).

Questions to Consider:

  1. What does doubt look like? What does trust look like? How does one trust God?
  2. Do you trust God?
  3. What needs to happen in your life to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord?
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