“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6
Most of us come into the world doubting. We are doubting creatures. Such is the rule not the exception. Mom or Dad says, “Don’t touch that, it’s hot, but we have to find out for ourselves. “OUCH! The examples are far too numerous to count, stretching throughout childhood into adulthood. If we question our parents or those in authority, as we are wont to do, isn’t it pretty much a given that we will question or doubt God at some time? Doubting God is much more the norm for the human race, both believer and unbeliever, than trusting Him and always taking Him at His word. There are all kinds of “provocations in this life to inspire or motivate doubting God, whether doubt in His existence, or doubt in who He is, what He has done, or what He has said.
One very talented and bright young lady once said, “Doubt indulged soon becomes doubt realized. She died at the age of 42. She suffered ill health most of her short life which gave her exceptional pain, especially in dying. She lost her closest friend and earliest confidant at the age of 6 and her dearly loved mother at 11. She was reading by the age of 3. She was convincingly convicted of her sin when only six. She wrote her first of many hymns at seven. While still a girl she began a Society for the clothing of poor children. In her education she mastered Latin, Greek, French, German, and Hebrew, in addition to her native tongue, English. She could fluently read the Bible in its original languages. She was able to quote the Gospels, Epistles, Revelation, The Psalms and Isaiah from memory. She had a number of proposals of marriage which she declined. The one she loved deeply did not share her faith in Christ, so she obeyed her King by denying herself and not marrying an unbeliever. This woman had more provocations than most to indulge in doubt, and knew the subject well as she penned the quote above. Francis Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) was best known for her many hymns still sung today and for her consecration to the One of whom she wrote so beautifully; “Like a River Glorious, “Take My Life and Let it Be, “Who is on the Lord’s Side?, “Thy Life Was Given for Me, are but a few of her well-loved hymns.
The most renowned of all doubters became universally known as “Doubting Thomas. I am sure he would like to have that moment in his life back, except for what insight it has afforded millions of doubters since. How many today fall into the same category, yet unlike Thomas come to no hopeful resolution because they indulge their doubting until it truly is realized? Thomas doubted the eyewitness accounts of his closest friends and confidants for those three remarkable years of amazing experiences with Christ. He ignored or was simply ignorant of centuries of prophetic Scripture able to answer his doubt before the infamous demand for evidence on his terms. His longsuffering Savior tenderly granted his demand, but gave an enduring promise and warning to centuries of doubters yet to follow: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed! (John 20:29) Or, in fair warning, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! (Luke 24:25)
Job doubted in the extreme severity of his anguish, questioning why he should ever have been allowed to see the light of day; yet never lost sight of this first truth: it is God alone with whom we have to do and absolutely no one or nothing else! If you are wrestling with doubt, never forsake wrestling with God to wrestle with something or someone else as though God neither exists or is not who Scripture says He is. The latter will prove you a fool; the former offers hope. Do not let Him go until you have your answer!
“And though the world with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us, The Prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo! His doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.
(3rd verse of Martin Luther’s hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God, 1529)
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