What is Doubt?

And immediately, Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:31 KJV)

Doubt is a challenge many Christians face and can be a barrier to experiencing God’s miraculous power. James gives us insight into doubt, defining it as a state characterized by two opposing thoughts in the same mind: “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8, KJV). Doubt is having both faith and unbelief in the same mind. For instance, one might believe God has healed them, yet also fear that the disease will hurt them. This divided thinking leads to uncertainty and a lack of decisiveness.

The Scriptures give us a vivid example of doubt in the perplexing story of Peter walking on the water. Peter’s mind became divided when he saw the waves: part of him believed in God, while the other feared the world around him. As soon as doubt stepped in, Peter lost the miracle. Doubt almost drowned Peter in Jesus’ presence. Just imagine how many of us are drawn today because of doubt without the privilege of having Jesus physically present. 

In the prior verse, James likens anyone who wavers in prayer to the sea tossed by the winds (James 1:6). His imagery applies to Peter’s experience, who was tossed by the waves. As you reflect on God’s word, be mindful not to let your circumstances shape your mind and thoughts. Instead, hold fast to faith, considering not the deadness of the situation as Abraham did (Romans 4:19). Just as faith comes from heeding the Word, doubt arises from giving attention to the world—the environment, the situation. May you find strength in overcoming doubt, knowing that with unwavering faith, miracles are within reach.


What is the difference between doubt and unbelief?

Apply the Word

Is doubt hindering your walk of faith? Learn from Abraham’s example. Consider not the deadness of the situation. Be careful with the information you feed your mind—as His Word builds faith in you, so worldly information makes doubt strong in your heart. 


Ask the Spirit to help you overcome doubt.

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