“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6,7).
Watching the waves of the sea roil, without consideration for anything in its path can be terrifying and yet it can also be spell-binding. The wind–the mass of air that no one see–can be an awesome wonder to watch. I’ve watched the wind–a tornado–tear the roof off of an apartment building right behind the one I was in. I’ve watched the damage of the wind–from a hurricane–turn lives upside down. I can only imagine how absolutely petrified people might become when watching a tsunami, fueled by angry winds destroy their livelihoods, homes, and lives. The wind–a force by which no one can control or see–has the power to change lives.
Now, think about that power and how James compares doubt to that power. When doubt moves us from faith, we give doubt the power to change our lives and keep us from receiving that for which we have asked of God. In the beginning of this chapter, James is talking about asking God for wisdom, but he references something the Jesus said when He was teaching His disciples about prayer. “Whatever we say and don’t doubt, we can have (paraphrase). “When we pray, we believe we receive and we shall have it,” (Mark 11:22,23). Jesus shows us how powerful faith can be, but James demonstrates how powerful doubt can be with the illustration of the wind and waves.
The question we must ask ourselves is, are we wind-tossed or are we standing in faith, believing we can have what we ask of God? Perhaps, the answer lies in whether or not we can honestly say we have asked and received or we have asked and doubted (if only for a nanosecond) and not received. Therefore, “since faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” we have two powerful forces working in our lives that no can visibly see–faith and doubt. If we stand firm on our faith in God, we shall see the “stuff” which is the evidence of God’s working on our behalf, even though we didn’t see how He did it. And like the wind (we see the results of wind’s movement, not wind itself) so too shall we see the results of faith or doubt in our lives.
Whatever it is we need right now–we can ask of God, in the name of Jesus, stand firmly in faith that we will receive it and we shall have it. If we need healing–we ask and receive; if we need a financial blessing–we ask and receive; if we need direction–we ask and receive; if we need wisdom (the first request)–we ask and receive. We shall have whatever we ask for when we do not allow doubt to deter (move) our faith! Glory to God for favor and faith to accomplish all He has planned for us! Hallelujah!