James encourages us all to ask God for the wisdom we need not simply to survive hardship and disappointment but to thrive and grow spiritually by means of such trials. Continue reading . . .
James encourages us all to ask God for the wisdom we need not simply to survive hardship and disappointment but to thrive and grow spiritually by means of such trials. But our asking must be “with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6).
The word translated “no doubting” basically means to “differentiate” or “judge” or “dispute,” but here has the sense of “dispute with oneself.” He has in mind those times when we find ourselves debating with ourselves. There’s a division in our hearts: on the one hand, we believe God is good and generous, but on the other hand, maybe he’s not as good or generous as we’ve been led to think. Maybe God fulfills his promises, but then again maybe he doesn’t.
Later in James 1:8 he refers to this sort of person as “double-minded” (v. 8a). The word for “double-minded” is literally “double-souled”. This particular word has never appeared in Greek literature until now. James probably coined the word himself. There is a sense in which he is describing what might be called spiritual schizophrenia! Such a man is the pattern for Bunyan’s “Mr. Facing-both-ways” in Pilgrim’s Progress. He is like the mythological horseman who mounted his horse and promptly rode off in both directions!
The doubt he has in view is compared to the waves of the sea swelling up and subsiding, never having the same shape or size, but varying from moment to moment both in direction and strength.
It’s as if one day we are fu