Summary: Doubt – What exactly is doubt? What does Jesus mean by telling us If ye have faith, and doubt not? James tells us that we ought to ask in faith, without doubting, For he that doubts is like a wave blowing with the wind. Is doubt unbelief? Do I not believe God because I have doubts?
Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. 19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. 20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! 21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (d?a????? diakrinó (dee-ak-ree'-no): doubt) For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Doubt – What exactly is doubt? What does Jesus mean by telling us If ye have faith, and doubt not? James tells us that we ought to ask in faith, without doubting, For he that doubts is like a wave blowing with the wind. Is doubt unbelief? Do I not believe God because I have doubts?
We are going to embark on a two-part study on doubt, to address these questions of doubt we just proposed, which most of us have and wonder within ourselves. So, here we go.
Experiencing doubt is common to all. Even those of us with faith in God struggle with doubt on occasion, same as the man in Mark 9:24, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”. However, the man did say “help me overcome my doubt”. He said “unbelief”, which is ?p?st?a, a?, ? apistia (ah’ pis-tee-ah); meaning, unfaithfulness, distrust - unbelief. But, what we have to understand, is the man’s unbelief was a result of his doubt winning over. Stay with me now.
Some people are greatly hindered by doubt; while other see it as a springboard to faith; seeing it as an obstacle to be overcome by our faith in God. The Bible is literally, littered with examples of doubt. Doubting God, doubting ourselves, doubting others, doubting life, many are skeptic and doubt everything. Doubt is common in life to everyone from the beginning till now, man has doubted. From Adam and Eve till now, those who believe in God and those who don’t.
To understand the difference between doubt and unbelief, we must first have an understanding of the Biblical definition of doubt.
The word “doubt” in the Bible are the Hebrew words:
????? t?a^rap_ (tar-raff); meaning, to pluck off, pull in pieces or torn in pieces;
?????? tala (taw-law'): meaning to hang, hung up or bent on turning.
And the Greek is:
d?a????? diakrinó (dee-ak-ree'-no), to separate, to waver, to judge back and forth.
d?st??? distazo¯ (dis-ta-zo); mentally waver in opinion; to go two ways, shifting between positions "a double-stance”.
So, in both the Hebrew and Greek meaning of doubt is: to waver or fluctuate between opinions; an unsettled state of opinion; to be in uncertainty; uncertainty of mind; undetermined; wavering; to be in suspense as to truth or fact; to be undetermined concerning some things; to be suspended in judgment. To question, or hold questionable; to hesitate to believe; to lack confidence in.
So the working Biblical definition of “doubt” is being torn between two opinions, two minds, vacillating between two ways of believing.
Now, here’s something that is vital, vitally important for us to understand, and that is, the same word used for doubt d?a????? diakrinó (dee-ak-ree'-no), is the same word used for discernment.
Discernment is purely an ecclesiastical word; meaning, the origin of the word “discern or discernment” comes directly from the scriptures. And, in its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think to accepting God’s truths verse false.
The word ‘doubt’ is also ‘discern’. It is the context in which the world is applied. Hmmm! Stick a pin in this, you’ll start getting it as we work our way through this study on “doubt”.
Now, the very first expression of doubt and discernment, in the Bible, can be seen in at the beginning of man in Genesis 3, when Satan tempted Eve. God had given a clear command regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and had specified the consequence of disobedience. However, it shows us that Eve was torn between two opinions, two minds, two ways of believing….