In which I find the way to ask in faith, not doubting…

by Craig on November 30, 2010

In the sea of disbelief,  faith battles to stay afloat.

But there is a way that stills my waves.

James 1:6 But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind.

The image I’ve always gotten with this verse is a ship tossed about on the wavesthat’s what doubt is like. I studied this verse, and translated it word by word. Stared at it for a long time. And the image my brain got, before the work began – and after  – remained; doubt is like a ship tossed at sea.

But James doesn’t say anything about a ship. How could I have read this over and over and missed that? Or rather, added it. Doubt is not the ship, it’s the water, disturbed, churning, boiling. It rushes here, then there, and never finds a home. It keeps moving restlessly, and that’s just the surface. Underneath is where all the action is, even with the calmest sea.

That. Is. Doubt. Isn’t it?

This is another verse that gets plucked out of context all to often. Did you know, by the way, that the Book of James is the go to book for politicians? It is by far their most quoted book of the Bible. And it’s only 5 chapters long. And talk about quoting out of context. Oooof.

So, before I go following the crowd, I have to ask, “what’s my context?”

Trials, wisdom through trials, God through the trial, a kind of perfection of the lesson through the trial, wisdom (almost) free for the asking – but when I ask – I should ask for the wisdom in faith – not wavering.

So what might cause this wavering?

Doubt that God cares?

Doubt that I really want to pay the price of more trials for the wisdom?

Doubt that I have enough faith for anything at all?

Doubt that I’ll start strong, all full of faith, and end up being a hypocrite – again.

Are the reasons for my doubt different from yours?

So how do I ask? Who has a faith that doesn’t waver?

I think the “not doubting” faith thing comes down to believing that God’s  answer is the one that’s best. If wisdom means more trials, then that’s best. If his will is to remove the trial then that’s best. Maybe the closest I can get to a non wavy faith is to want the will of God, above my own.

Is this the way to hear, “Peace. Be still” – and then get stilled?

I think it is. It’s a lesson that only came in the last year to me. I won’t bore with details, but the year was simultaneously maybe the toughest of my life, while being the most blessed and peaceful.

God. in. the. trials.

In those trials he taught me the way of peace in any trial. It’s simple.

Lay it all before him.

Ask for his will to be done, not my own.

Want – really want his will above my own.

Ask him to have it work out so that it makes me more like Him.

Then dot my i’,

Cross my t’s,

do my part as good as I can,

And know, that because I prayed his will, then his will – will be done.

When I pray that, my faith stills, no waves. When I live in it – peace.

It’s the closest I’ve found to asking “in faith, not doubting”.


Picture credit – midnightrose730 from photobucket

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie November 30, 2010 at 1:27 am

Thank you for showing me about doubt being the water . . .not a ship! (because how could a ship not be tossed about in a sea?) And the comfort of knowing that we can have a faith that doesn’t doubt when we ask, simply by wanting His will and believing He knows best. I have found so much comfort today in my fellow blogger’s posts! It comes on the heels of feeling like a failure. Thank you so much for listening to Him, for taking the time to study and translate for us, that we might know His comfort and hope too! God bless you and bring you a special rest! deb


Craig November 30, 2010 at 12:57 pm

The doubt is the water – that’s new – never saw it like this before – might write more about that tomorrow. And the studying and translating – that’s pure bliss – thank YOU for giving me someone to share with.


Anonymuss November 30, 2010 at 1:41 am

I, too, always ‘read’ ship into this verse. is makes me want to reread the bible with clear eyes to see what else i have read into it! thank you for helping me to see all this!

meanwhile, that is helpful how you have put that-that when we pray His will be done, and really mean it, that we can have peace…even before we see answers, and we can know that doing so will help us be more like Him. that is even more frosting on the cake.


Craig November 30, 2010 at 1:02 pm


Wierd huh” How we could throw that word in – when it’s not even there – Maybe it’s because James is going to talk later about ships, and you and I are just super geniuses :)

And I absolutely love that God taught me this thing about praying for his will, wanting it, doing the work, accepting what happens as what’s best whether I see it or not – because I prayed for his will above my own. There is peace in that. The trick is to remain in that peace – seems like I’d rather worry sometimes. But if I remind myself of the praying for / wanting God’s will thing – peace makes a comeback.

Thank you for being here – means the world.


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