James and the Dangers of Doubt
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 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. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
-The wisdom James is talking about (verse 5) is not just some vague sense of needing direction. This is in direct response to the words that precede it (verses 2-4).
-James knows there will be believers who cannot understand how to see God at work in their trial.
-We don’t have a wisdom problem, we have a doubt problem. God has promised to give us wisdom if we ask. Our part is not to doubt Him.
-Doubt festers when we believe this lie: God cannot be trusted
The question is not if you doubt, but rather, what do you do with your doubt?
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
There’s only one place for your doubt – at the foot of the cross.
Other resources for further study: