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.
You Must Believe and Not Doubt
Pastor Schroeder noticed two women approaching him after Bible Information Class. Nancy was a member who was taking a “refresher” class, and Ginny had started attending church shortly after her aunt’s funeral.
Nancy said, “Pastor, last week Ginny and I were talking about how we can always go to God if we’re struggling in our faith. I shared with her a passage from James that says anyone who lacks wisdom should ask God and it will be given to him.”
“Oh yes, James 1:5—that’s a great passage!” Pastor agreed.
“But then at home Ginny read the passage in its context (like you always say we should), and now we’re not sure what to make of it,” Nancy said.
Ginny added, “The next verses make it sound like only someone with absolutely perfect faith can pray. ‘You must believe and not doubt.’ I don’t think I’ll ever live up to that.”
Pastor Schroeder reached for his Bible and quickly thumbed to the book of James. “Yes, I see what you mean,” he said. “Those words give any Christian reason to pause. But remember what we learned about faith. It’s not just a positive feeling or simply acknowledging that there is a God. Faith is trusting that God is who he says he is and that he will do what he promises. And that includes his mercy towards those who are weak. James is saying that it doesn’t do any good to ask God for help if you don’t really think that he can or wants to help. Faith connects us to Christ our Savior.”
“So what do I do when I struggle with doubts?” Ginny asked.
“Look to Jesus,” Pastor Schroeder said. “He is our Rock, our solid ground. Look to his gospel. Since Jesus died for us and rose to life again, all our sins are forgiven. We can be confident that God will hear our prayers for his sake. Put your trust in him and he will never let you down.”
Lord, I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief! Amen.