Got Doubts or Convictions?

Do you really believe what you say you believe? if so, then, why do doubts about God still creep into your life? Could it be you are double-minded? 

I actually believe that we are all double-minded to some extent. That is, we have certain beliefs and convictions that guide our lives, but then we vacillate, unwittingly even, between what we say and believe and what we do.

It’s because we’re human.

We try hard and want to do good and be good, but we succumb to our human nature and live lives that are inconsistent with the so-called Christian life.

How do we really fix this?

It’s Tied to Trials, Beliefs, and Doubts
The Bible has some pretty strong things to say about the matter and this type of vacillating life that we are all prone to live. In the Book of James, the writer calls it out as being “double-minded and unstable.” But it’s not stated here in isolation. As Bible passages should be seen in full context, I’ve underlined the connected tie-ins in the following text in Chapter 1:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 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.

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. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. (James 1:6-8)

Yes, may seem a bit harsh.

You’ll note the context is in asking God for wisdom. This is preceded by the testing of our faith through trials and through our perseverance we achieve fullness and completion of that faith.

You Are What and How You Believe
Think of it in played out in these 3 types of believers: 1) the General Spiritual Believer, 2) the Double-Minded Christian Believer, and 3) the Non-Double-Minded Christian Believer:

  1. The General Spiritual BelieverI Believe in God as some Higher Power
    • I believe in God as a higher power
    • I try to be a good person
    • I pray for God to help me when I have trials and problems
    • I hope God hears my prayers and answers them
    • I’m really not expecting too much.
  2. The Double-Minded Christian BelieverI Believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible (a Christian Worldview), But I Have Some Doubts
    • I believe in God as the Creator of all things
    • I believe in Jesus Christ as God’s redeeming Savior for a broken, sinful, and separated world
    • I believe God has revealed Himself through the Bible’s Old and New Testament
    • Though I am a sinner who has been forgiven, I try to be a good person
    • I pray for God to help me when I have trials and problems
    • I believe God hears my prayers and answers them
    • I hope God helps me.
  3. The Non-Double-Minded Christian BelieverI Believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible (a Christian Worldview), and I Have No Doubts
    • I believe in God as the Creator of all things
    • I believe in Jesus Christ as God’s redeeming Savior for a broken, sinful, and separated world
    • I believe God has revealed Himself through the Bible’s Old and New Testament
    • Though I am a sinner who has been forgiven, I am transforming and renewing my mind through God’s Word and Holy Spirit
    • I pray for God will in the midst of my trials and problems
    • I know God hears my prayers and answers them according to His will and timing
    • I know God is with me even unto death.

Doubters No Doubt
It’s okay to have questions. We do not have all questions of the universe answered yet, but we do absolutely have what God has revealed to us so far through Christ and the Scriptures. What matters then is in the substance of our belief. Given a sound foundation of a Christian Worldview belief (Scenarios #2 and #3), the real issue is in our doubts, defined as “a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction.”

Doubters doubt God’s existence, They doubt Jesus as God’s Son. They doubt Jesus as God. They doubt the authority of the Bible, and that they can be thoroughly forgiven without conditions. They doubt that God really hears their prayers or has the power or interest in answering them. They doubt that God is personal and really cares.

And these doubts impact one’s ability to live a stable life full of true and strong convictions where there is no hedging, there is no compromising, there is no settling, there is no equivocation.

How Deep Are Your Convictions
Living without double-mindedness is really about living with deep rooted convictions that are not swayed by the tumult and blows of trials and tribulations. Rather, one has firm and strong convictions about who they are in God’s economy so that decision-making is clearer and easier, temptations are better addressed and defeated, and problems and issues are confronted and absorbed with a healthy perspective and even unexplainable peace.

It’s a wise, single-minded life worth living.

Do you have a faith with doubts or a faith with deep convictions? 
_______________________________
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. – James 4:7-8



Categories: Abundant Living, Devotion, Discipleship, Faith, Forgiveness, Manhood, Parenting, Purpose

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