Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? – 15

What happens if you doubt? If you doubt, you are “like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind . . . he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (Jas. 1:7-8, ESV). If you doubt, you are double-minded (v. 8). “Double-minded” is from dipsuchos, from dis, “twice,” and psuche, “spirit” or “soul;” literally, “two spirited” (Strong); “double-souled”[1] or “having two minds” (AGNT). It means, “doubting, hesitating” (BAGD); “being uncertain about the truth of something” (Louw-Nida). The word is used of “double-headed people” (BAGD). You’re not sure anymore whether God will give you wisdom or not; whether you can trust God or not; or whether you need to ask wisdom or not.

James said that if you ask God for wisdom, while doubting, you are also “unstable” (v. 8). “Unstable” is from akatastatos, which literally means, “not placed down.” It denotes, “unstable, restless, of vacillating persons” (BAGD). The vacillating, wavering man is like a drunken man. He is “fickle, staggering, reeling like a drunken man.”[2]

What happens when you ask God for wisdom, while doubting? “For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord” (Jas. 1:7, ESV). You will not receive wisdom from God. God will not answer your prayer for wisdom. God will not give you wisdom during trials and troubles.

So how do you endure trials and tensions in life? To summarize, (1) count it all joy that trials fall on you. (2) Know that trials produce perseverance in Christ and Christ-like character of faith and hope. (3) Ask God for wisdom for the trials. (4) Ask God by faith, nothing doubting, without wavering, and fully believing that He will answer!


[1] Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset, and David Brown, Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary, Power Bible CD.

[2] Robertson, Word Pictures, Power Bible CD.

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