Words of Faith 4-6-2020
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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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.
A poll by Luntz research indicated that 10 percent of Americans believe that Elvis Presley is still alive-- 30 percent believe in reincarnation-- 39 percent believe in ghosts-- 53 percent believe that aliens have visited earth in the past 100 years-- 74 percent believe that the U.S. government is currently involved in cover-ups and conspiracies. It seems that we believe in a lot of things. We probably have our doubts, too!
So how is our belief in God different? It is interesting that when the Bible talks about "believing," it means something a good deal more serious than speculation about UFOs or Elvis. The Greek word means "to cast your whole weight upon.” When we seek the wisdom and counsel of the Lord, we are not shopping for a convenient truth. We are not seeking in all manner of places for some "wisdom" that we will later choose from among the guidance of the worldly counsel. We are casting our whole weight upon the God of the universe and his wisdom. We choose to believe.
As believers, we do not have the privilege of hearing God's wisdom and then rejecting it. The very wisdom revealed will make us miserable if doubted and not acted upon. It is a miserable man or woman who knows the wisdom of God and then refuses to walk in it.
James calls us to "believe and not doubt.” This doesn't mean that we have no questions. It does mean that we trust not only in the existence of God but also in His loving care. It includes relying on God and expecting that He will hear and answer when we pray. We are called to put away our critical attitude when we come to Him. God does not grant every thoughtless or selfish request. We must have confidence that God will align our desires with his purposes. This is part of believing.
The problem with wavering is that it comes from an unconvinced mind. A mind that wavers is not completely convinced that God's way is best. The wavering mind treats God's Word like any human advice, and it retains the option to disobey. It vacillates between allegiance to subjective feelings, the world's ideas, and God's commands. If our faith is new, weak, or struggling, we need the reminder that we can trust God. We can be loyal to him. We can stabilize the wavering or doubtful mind as we commit ourselves wholeheartedly to God.
James called up the image of the constant rolling of huge waves at sea to picture the person who lives in doubt. The waves are restless. They are subject to the forces of wind, gravity, and tide. Doubt leaves a person as unsettled as the restless waves. If you want to stop being tossed about, rely on God to show you what is best for you. Ask Him for wisdom, and trust that He will give it to you. Then your decisions will be sure and solid.
Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. I offer my faith to you and sacrifice my doubt before your throne. Teach me to walk by faith. Amen.
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