“If any of you is lacking wisdom, ask God, which gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it is yours.  But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.”

James 1:5-6


Contemplation Notes for Using this Devotional:

  • This advice from James, Jesus’s brother, comes from the section often titled, “Faith and Wisdom.” It encourages us to activate our faith by connecting with the Presence of God within and trusting our own still, small voice.
  • Faith is inner belief we feel before we see results demonstrated around us. Because we already have all the faith we need, our spiritual practice is directing that faith toward what we truly desire.
  • Faith is difficult to find in the external, like on Instagram or through another person. If we continually look for faith outside of ourselves, we may struggle with self-doubt, even when others appreciate our experience or say they believe in us.
  • Faith thrives in our intuitive mind because it feels and knows without analysis. It stays strong when we’re:
    • confident.
    • courageous.
    • flexible.
    • patient.
    • resilient.
  • In comparison, doubt is confused, untrusting thought based in our linear, analytical mind. When we doubt ourselves, we second-guess the spirit within, mentally entangling ourselves by attempting perfection and/or striving to feel worthy and deserving of success.
  • Doubt flourishes with negative What-If thinking, such as, what if I:
    • don’t have all the answers/information.
    • don’t know how it’ll turn out.
    • mess up.
    • hurt myself or someone else.
    • people laugh at me or don’t like me.
  • In a June 2022 article in Neuroscience News, Professor Kay Brauer from the Institute of Psychology at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany explains that “a healthy amount of reflection and self-doubt can protect a person from acting rash.” For example, so they don’t invest their life-savings in only one stock fund. But those who are continually overwhelmed by self-doubt base their success on “external circumstances” like “luck and chance.”  Yet, she adds, they internalize failure and believe it’s due to “their own shortcomings” alone.  This means, for example, that they ignore factors like rainy weather, slick roads, and poor visibility when they run a slower-than-usual 5K.
  • Demonstration is your evidence of what does or doesn’t work in your life. You demonstrate a strong faith when you believe in the power and presence of God within you. You aren’t tossed among waves of doubt because you also believe in yourself, relying on both your intuition and your intelligence to discern what’s best for your life.


Contemplation Questions:

As you reflect on your life and circumstances, ask yourself:

  • When I reflect on my faith overall, what is overshadowed by doubt?
    • Without analysis or judgment, list, word map, or illustrate the doubts on paper or screen so you stop carrying them in your mind and body.
    • Next, breathing deeply, taking as long as you need, consider each doubt.
    • Then, create a new list, word map, or illustration which reframes the doubts into faith.
  • When I reflect on my faith overall, in what ways do both my intuition and my intelligence support me?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as many ways as you can.
  • What are at least three (3) ways I can continue moving beyond any doubts to live faithfully?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as you can imagine.


It’s an act of courage and strength to overcome doubt and take the first step forward.  So, as you work with this devotional, don’t let doubt dampen your enthusiasm or override your inner wisdom.  Instead of saying you can’t do something or worrying about every detail, direct your faith toward God’s grace and compassion.  Focus fully on what you want, not on what you don’t.  Whenever you feel doubtful, affirm: “My faith is strong.  I courageously move beyond any doubt to claim my good now.”


© 2023 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.

Photo by from Shutterstock by Rosliak Nataliia.

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