Why Do We Doubt?

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God promises that when we cling to Him in times of uncertainty, we'll grow in endurance and maturity.

James 1:1-8

How would you currently characterize your faith? Is it up one day, down the next? The short book of James contains practical advice for those whose faith fluctuates because of difficult circumstances. When we start doubting God and His Word, we’re driven and tossed about like the surf of the sea.

James says a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways and should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. To be double-minded is to go back and forth in our thinking. We may begin with strong confidence in God, but as time goes by and the difficult situation continues, we may start to doubt that the Lord will do what He’s promised.

Doubting and questioning are not necessarily the same thing. Questioning is seeking to gain further information in order to better understand what God has said. Doubting, on the other hand, involves believing what we think, see, or feel rather than what we know He has said.

It’s natural for us to question when we’re suddenly overwhelmed by a distressing turn of events. God understands our struggle and wants us to come to Him with our pain and confusion. Sometimes He has to sift our thinking by reminding us of His truth or His past faithfulness to us in a similar situation.

Even though we may not understand all that God is doing through our trials, we can rely on what He’s revealed: The testing of our faith produces endurance and spiritual maturity, and it supplies something we lack. Knowing this, we can trust the Lord to accomplish His good and perfect will through the situation—and rejoice in how He will transform us.

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