There is doubt and unbelief, and then there is doubt and unbelief. If we doubt and do not believe that God has the power to do whatever it might be, then that is the doubt and unbelief that is not faith. Indeed, if God says this I will do, and we don’t believe him, then that is the doubt and unbelief that is not faith. However, if we say, “Will God do it?” “Have I heard correctly?” And in other words, doubt ourselves but not God’s power, ability, or integrity, then that is something different. In Romans, Paul tells us about Abraham and his faith.

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

Romans 4:20-21 (NIV)

The keyword in verse 20 is “waver.” Abraham didn’t waver through belief and unbelief regarding the promise of God. Abraham never thought that God didn’t have the power to do what he said he would do. In fact, if God said he would do it, then he would and could do it. We can waver in our beliefs, but what are we doubting?

Consider Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Daniel 3:17-18 (NIV)

They told Nebuchadnezzar that God would deliver them from the furnace, “but even if he does not,” they said, they would not serve Nebuchadnezzar. These young men knew that God could deliver them and would still worship Him even if he didn’t. Therefore, what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were talking about was God’s will. Not God’s power to deliver them.

Often, we mistake our doubt and unbelief about whether God will do something or not do something, as doubt or unbelief in God’s power to do something. However, there is a difference between the two. Will God heal and deliver is different than can God heal and deliver.

Let’s examine two passages that talk about doubt and God’s will and see if we can identify the differences between the two (if there are any).

Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.

Matthew 21:21 (NIV)

In Matthew 21:21, Jesus isn’t being literal. The “mountains” Jesus refers to are those issues that arise in our lives that seem like mountains to us. Jesus refers to doubt regarding God’s power to remove those mountains. God can remove those mountains. I see the “sea” Jesus refers to like the sea in Micah 7:19.

He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Micah 7:19 (KJV)

God casts our sins into the sea and forgets about them. Therefore, the mountains removed from our path are so far removed that they don’t hinder us. However, the promise in Matthew 21:21 isn’t that our problems will be solved in the way we want them to be. They will be removed according to God’s will. These verses from James are different.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 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.

James 1:5-6 (NIV)

The doubt here is more complex because we’re talking about wisdom and a specific promise. If I ask ten people the same question, seeking knowledge, aren’t I just getting opinions instead? Choosing the answer I like best? Or, if I pray to the Sun, Moon, and Stars and then God, how am I trusting that God is the one who will give me wisdom? The other form of doubt here deals with God’s will because it is God’s will that, if you ask him for understanding, he will give it to you. This is where unbelief regarding the power and integrity of God comes into play. Therefore, when you lack wisdom, seek God and ask him for wisdom, do not doubt by consulting or praying to others. Then, after you’ve asked God, believe that he will give you the insight you have asked for because he said he would do it.

Faith, doubt, and unbelief are enormous, and we can easily be confused into thinking that our doubts are about God’s power when they are about his will. This is why it’s essential to be specific in our prayers. When we are detailed in our prayers, it’s easier to see if what we are praying for is according to God’s will. It also makes it easier to see when we receive an answer to prayer.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.