The Sin Of Doubt
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:6-8, NKJV).
Doubt as defined by the dictionary is a feeling of uncertainty and lack of conviction. For the Christian, doubt is a lack of confidence in the word of God. We all doubt at different times, particularly in times of serious challenges. God expects us to overcome our doubts and not remain in the valley of despair. Below are some truths about doubt:
Doubt is subtle: A lot of Christians do not consider doubt as sin. And very few people confess their doubts as sin before God, and therein lies the subtlety of doubt. It is a little fox that spoil the vine (Songs of Solomon 2:15). Doubt looks harmless but it is not. In the encounter of Satan with Eve in Genesis 3, Satan made Eve doubt the word of God. He told her, “Has God indeed said, you shall not eat of every tree in the garden.” He further told Eve, “You will not surely die.” Satan punched holes in the word of God leaving Eve with the impression that God didn’t really mean what He said. The enemy makes us to doubt the seriousness of the word of God.
Doubt is hesitation: Some synonyms of hesitate are vacillate, waver, indecision and reluctance. Doubting in a challenging situation could be devastating. If David had hesitated in the valley of Elah when he confronted Goliath, the result would have been defeat for the Israelites. The Bible says, “as Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran to meet him” (1 Samuel 17:48, NLT). The King James Version of the Bible says David hasted towards Goliath. There were no doubts whatsoever in the mind of David when he confronted the Goliath challenge. Had he doubted, the result would have been different.
Doubt is costly: Doubt robs people of blessings. The Israelites at the brink of the Promised Land doubted and refused to enter the Land God gave them. A whole generation, except Joshua and Caleb, died as a result. Self-doubt produces inferiority complex; the Israelites said they were like grasshoppers compared to their opposition. Doubt in the future produces worry and anxiety. Doubt in other people produces suspicion. Doubt in everything produces pessimism and cynicism. Doubt in God produces unbelief. Doubt can rob one of a glorious destiny.
Doubt is double mindedness: The doubter in our opening text is likened to a raging sea which is troubled, unstable and restless. The doubter is unsettled, unstable and anxious. Whenever we are anxious and restless about a matter it shows and depicts doubt. On the other hand, confidence in God produces assurance, calmness and stability. The doubter vacillates; today is up and tomorrow he is down. One day he/she is believing, the next day he/she is disbelieving. The Bible says this fellow who doubts will not receive from the Lord.
Doubt is half hearted devotion: Not fully following the Lord nor cooperating with Him in our lives will automatically produce doubt. Elijah said to the Israelites in 1 Kings 18, verse 21 in a time of famine, “how much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions?’ The people were serving Baal and trying to serve God at the same time. By so doing, they brought famine on themselves. Many are not wholehearted in their devotion to God. Many have seemingly viable options to God. This will result in doubt.
CONCLUSION: Jesus said anything is possible if a person believes (Mark 9:23). Being clear about the will of God, wholeheartedly following God, adjusting our lives to Him, and being determined will douse the voice of doubt all the time. May God forgive us all for the sin of doubt in Jesus’ name.