James 1: 2 - 8
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
I have been stuck on this passage for the past 2 months, (that’s to say the least) most particularly verses 6-8... I seem to have struggled with “Doubt” my whole life and while I wish I was here to share the testimony of how I overcame… and my recipe for success, that isn’t the case, I ain’t got it together yet. There are days I wonder if I ever will – I guess you can call it the doubt talking again. Nevertheless I feel sharing this journey might achieve one of two things:
1) Spur people who have got it together to share on how they got it together (and perhaps I won’t doubt their testimonies and be able to press into mine) or
2) Encourage others that may be going through the same that there is no affliction that is peculiar to one person, and perhaps we might all grow together into being “perfect and complete”.
So what is this doubt thing—is it a sin or a weight or just healthy realism? Well this much study I did and I’ll try to present it in a concise fashion. I found out doubt is strongly connected and correlated to faith, in fact it’s been dubbed and defined as “lack of faith”. What then is Faith? It is said to be the substance attached to things hoped for and the evidence of things that are unseen. An example of this will be the belief that I’m one day going to have a Christ-centered, fun-loving and community-influencing home. (It’s not rocket-science sebi.. or maybe it is..)
And right in that “..or maybe it is..” you witness first hand my doubts. To me doubt is as simple as ‘double-checking’, there must be an ‘or’ to everything. It’s just keeping it real. I looked up the definition of doubt: it’s defined as unbelief, lack of faith… not trusting that which has been said or agreed to be true... i.e. it stems from lack of trust, I want to be in control all the time, I do not trust someone else to do things as well as I would, or with the motives that I do, matter of fact I don’t even trust myself to be able to do some things.
Why do I have doubts?
-Because somewhere back in my journal of experiences, I haven’t always made the best choice or said the right words or did the best things irrespective of how sincere and determined my motives were... I hold on so long and then the thought comes – what if you were wrong all along? I don’t like to be wrong, no scratch that.. I don’t want to be wrong…particularly not when I started out trusting that I was right..agrrh!
- Because I'm a sight driven person, I compare myself with myself, ..., typically sha I don’t believe. What would it take me to have unwavering belief? Verses 7 and 8 says let not a doubter hope to receive anything.. Ha! I want the dream, I want it o.. I just can’t seem to piece it together in my brain nor see it yet is why I just decided to double-check and now the penalty is having nothing!! That’s more than I bargained for o..
So here I come Lord, asking that you rid me, my heart, soul and mind of the sins and the weights, the lie, the insecurities, and the fear of the unseen that keeps me bound and keep me double checking. Help me find my rest in you...teach me what that looks like Lord, to know what it means to be at peace in the storm and that the storm is just an opportunity for my faith (my belief) and my endurance to grow and not to waver. Also that when my endurance is fully developed, I will be perfect and complete, needing nothing, for I will be assured that you are here ALL the time…like ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the time.