What Is Doubt?
If faith believes without seeing, what then is doubt? I’ve always said that doubt is like having belief only in evil instead of good. When we doubt, we’re giving power to evil rather than good.
Many times in the bible, people asked Jesus why they couldn’t do specific tasks, and he answered, “ye have little faith” If God says that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains, how little faith would it take to get a promotion, to get extra money for bills, or to heal the sick?
When Faith Becomes Doubt, We Fall
It was sometime before dawn, and Jesus went to the mountainside to pray. Peter and the disciples were on the boat pushed far out to the sea. Jesus made his way to the men by walking on water. When the disciples saw Jesus, they shouted: “It’s a ghost!” The men were terrified. Can you imagine seeing someone walking on water just before dawn while out to sea?
The day is breaking, the winds are blowing, and it’s already hard to see anything, especially on a boat. Jesus must have been laughing at such a site; grown men scared to death of what they thought was a ghost. Jesus immediately said to them: “take courage! It is I, don’t be afraid” When Peter heard this, he decided that if Jesus could do it, why couldn’t he. “Lord, he said, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water” Jesus replied, “It is I” Peter made his way out to the Lord and started to walk on water.
You have to give him some credit at this point, you or I would have just dove right in and expected to be cooled off by the sudden splash of water. As he made his way further out, the winds increased, and he became afraid; as he started to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me” Jesus reached out his hand and told Peter “you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
It was Peters own faith that helped him walk on water and his doubt that pulled him under the waves. What a story of both faith and doubt. Everything about walking on water defies physics in every way. By merely believing, Peter was able to walk on water for a short period. Think about that next time you’re asking for a promotion. A few moments of faith allowed a man to walk on water during high winds.
The Greek Definition
The greek word for doubt is Archiac, and it means to fear; be apprehensive about. To be uncertain about something; be undecided in opinion or belief.
Another common word for doubt is unbelief. We don’t believe that God, the creator of the cosmos, can handle our problems in life. Stop and think about that for a minute. In 6 day’s God created an entire galaxy with stars, planets, and everything in them. If he can do that, why is it so hard to trust him in other areas of life? I believe it’s an issue with patience. We want God to jump right to everything we ask for, and if we don’t see it right away, we give up on trusting him and turn over to doubt.
I believe that God tests us on everything we ask for. He waits and watches to see how we’ll react to things.
If You Doubt, Don’t Expect To Have Anything
The bible tells us that when we have doubt, we should not expect anything at all from God. This is a double-minded person who’s unstable in all his/her ways.
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. James 1:5-8
We can see that being double-minded is the root problem of our doubt. To better understand how to remove doubt, we need to understand what it means to be double-minded and how we can deal directly with that problem.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
Sin Causes Us Doubt
God is calling us to purify our hearts. I believe that being double-minded and having doubt stems from not following Jesus. We can’t expect to live in total sin and have what the bible calls a sound mind. This is a mind at peace. Sometimes, you may have found yourself with a mind that races in fear and torment. Why? You are not following the Lord.
Maybe you’re getting drunk, high or having sex with someone who’s not your husband or wife; whatever the case, when we’re in bondage to our sin, we lose our sound mind and take on a double mind. I’d say we’re dealing with our thoughts, and also demonic thoughts and that’s what I believe triggers doubt. If you want to be free from doubt and have answered prayers, you must learn to walk in obedience and be free from addictions.
In Psalms, King David says this:
I hate the double-minded, but I love your law. Psalm 119:113
It’s safe to say that the double-minded are people who do not follow Gods laws. Another part of the bible says:
The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. Proverbs 15:29
God Doesn’t Hear The Prayers Of The Wicked.
If we pray, the bible says he won’t hear our prayers if we’re living in sin. For prayers to be answered, we have to repent and walk a pure life. He does, however, hear the prayers of the righteous.
What is the greek definition of righteous? It’s defined as the quality of being morally correct and justifiable.
You see, if you want to walk on water, if you’re going to get that promotion or heal the sick, it will take giving up the things you already know are wrong. If you want to erase doubt, you need to ditch the double mind that is caused by sin.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.— 2 Timothy 1:7
You see, if we have a spirit of fear, we do not have a sound mind. A spirit of fear will cause panic, doubt, and worry. If God has not given you that spirit, who do you think has? When we sin, who do you think is controlling our thoughts? I think by now you’re starting to understand; When we sin, we’ll receive doubt. When we doubt, we won’t receive answered prayers. It’s only by having a sound mind we’ll obtain the things we ask for. So you choose, hold onto addictions, or have a better life.
So Then, How Do We Get Faith?
The bible tells us how we’re to get faith. Not only does it requires ditching the double mind, but it also requires us to replace that very doubt with hope.
So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
By hearing God’s word, we’re able to gain access to his faith. When we read scripture, we’re discovering what God himself has promised us. The more we experience it, the more we find understanding, the more we find understanding, the more we will realize the power of the Holy Spirit and start to believe the very words we’re reading. Remember, the word of God is alive according to the scriptures.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12
We’re not dealing with an ordinary book; this book is alive! It is active, and by reading it, we gain access to the same faith that allowed Peter to walk on water.
Before we can get rid of our doubt, we must remove all addictions and be cleansed. Once we get rid of the junk, we need to read the word of God and live by it, treasure it, and make all of our choices based on what it tells us.