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  • Writer's pictureGracie Berney

Lessons from James: Part 2

Doubting is easy, but faith is hard

Hi friend and welcome back to the blog. Today we’ll be continuing in the new series from the book of James. In case you missed last week’s post, you can find it here.

James‬ ‭1‬:‭5‬-‭8‬ states: “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.” [‭ESV‬‬]

Have you ever struggled with needing the answer to something?

If you have, you’re not alone. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled and then decided to pray and ask God for His wisdom in solving the problem or wisdom in coming up with the response and then He comes through. What a joy it usually is.

What about the times you’ve prayed for an answer; but doubted the outcome?

I’ve been there too. And James has some wise words for us about these areas.

First of all, let’s start with wisdom. According to Mariam Webster, wisdom is ability to discern inner qualities and relationships : INSIGHT. It is also defined as good sense : JUDGMENT. Another definition of wisdom is: accumulated philosophical or scientific learning : KNOWLEDGE.

Notice the three synonyms provided for this word: Insight, Judgment and Knowledge.

Now think about a situation you currently need all 3 for. Have you prayed and asked God for all 3?

If you haven’t it’s ok; because all you need to do to rectify the situation is to ask God to give you wisdom. Thankfully, He is gracious and merciful and will not embarrass us for not having insight, judgement and knowledge about the situation/circumstance.

The second part of the verses today are rooted in one word: Faith.

A simple definition from Webster explains faith as complete trust.


James reminds us that when asking God for knowledge, insight and or judgment we need to do so in faith and not doubt.

Doubting is easy; but faith is hard especially when things are looking like they’re not going to work out. But when we doubt, we’re compared to a wave that’s getting tossed around. If you’ve ever been on a boat with some crazy waves it is not a good feeling. I get motion sick quite easily so even thinking about this scenario makes me feel uneasy.

However, this is what our Christian life is like when we doubt. And if you think about it, this is not a great testimony for the world at all. Nobody want to ride crazy waves that are untamed. And James tells us that the person who doubts won’t receive anything from the Lord.

This was a strong caution even for me. There are times when I’ve found myself praying prayers to God but then doubting if He would come through or making a back up plan in case things didn’t work out. This is what James also referred to as ‘double mindedness’.

Double mindedness leads to instability and this is certainly not a great characteristic of a child of God. God wants us to be steadfast!

So as I conclude today, what is God saying to you through these verses? Where do you lack wisdom? What prayers are you doubting? Are you double minded or is your heart steadfast?

I pray that our answers to these questions please and glorify God.

Let’s pray…

Dear God, thank you for your word and the conviction and inspiration it brings. I confess too often I rely on my wisdom or insight or judgment or knowledge about things, please help me to ask you when I’m lacking. And when I ask, may I do it with faith and not doubt. Give me a steadfast heart and a growing desire to live for you. In Jesus name. Amen


The Bible

Merriam Webster’s Dictionary

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