“How can I tell if I really believe?” That’s a question I hear often, and the answer is really simple: if you have to ask, then most likely you don’t.  Believing is being fully persuaded, and that’s in spite of the circumstances you may be facing.  Keep in mind, just because you believe God’s word and His promises does not exempt you from difficult circumstances.  No, we are ALL tested.  And there’s a reason for that.

Hear the words of James and consider them well.
Jas 1:2  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Jas 1:4  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Jas 1:5  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.
Jas 1:6  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Jas 1:7  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Jas 1:8  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Now I don’t know about how YOU feel in adverse circumstances, but I wasn’t “counting it all joy” when I had cancer back in 1993, but when the LORD told me to read Psalm 103:2-3, which if you don’t already know those verses, I’ll let you look them up for yourself like I had to do.  Now after reading THAT, then I WAS counting it all joy, let me tell you!  I wasn’t joyful for the cancer, BUT, I was definitely joyful when I read the promise that the Lord Jesus had already provided the cure for not only my sin problem, but my cancer problem.

When some people hear those verses, they are joyful….for a while…but if they don’t see the manifestation of it right away, then they give up believing.  You’ll notice that James 1:3 says the TRYING of your faith works patience.  And it doesn’t take much trying of some people’s faith to find the “patience” part isn’t working.  But the next verse expressly says “let patience have her perfect work”.  Why?  So you may be mature and lacking nothing.  God doesn’t allow you to be tested in order to break you, but rather so you will become strong, victorious, faithful and BELIEVING!

Verse 5 is self-explanatory: 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. Face it; sometimes we just don’t know how to handle a particular situation.  I’ve been a minister for over a third of my life now, and yet I don’t know everything I need to know.  BUT, I know who DOES know, and I ask Him often.  You’ll notice we are to ask of GOD, not a fortune teller or “Dear Abby”, or your neighbor.  God says if you ask Him for wisdom, He will GIVE it to you, and won’t chide with you about it or deny your request.

Again, let’s look at verse 6: But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. There you have it folks, you have to ask in faith, NOTHING WAVERING.  That means you read it in God’s Word, or He tells you by the Holy Spirit, and it’s set in concrete forever, and you never have to go back and “reconsider” it again.  The decision was made, and it’s final, no looking back and saying “I wonder if that was the right decision”, because if you go back and reconsider it, then that means you weren’t settled in the first place.

If you’re unsettled because, for example, you prayed and thought you believed at the time, and when some time passed and you didn’t see it, you lost your “set in concrete faith”.  Then you began to be tossed about like a boat in a storm, and pretty soon you don’t know WHAT to believe.  The devil wastes no time in telling you, “See, God doesn’t always keep His Word.” Pretty soon you find yourself believing the devil’s lie and not only believing it, but SAYING it.  Remember Mark 11:23? Yup, your words can come back and bite you, and at the worst possible time, and you WILL get what you believe in your heart and say, the Lord Jesus said so.  And He does NOT lie.

Some people say, “That’s just a parable, that doesn’t apply to me.” You can keep telling yourself that as your world falls down around you.  But if you’re wise, you’ll read God’s Word, BELIEVE and settle it in your heart and you won’t let the devil take you on a dead-end trip down Doubt Drive, which intersects with Loser Lane. Either way you turn with the devil, you lose.  You lose not only NOW, but LATER when you stand before the LORD in the judgment.

Jesus said this when speaking to the Scribes and Pharisees in John 8:44;
Joh_8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Where do you think doubt and unbelief come from, anyway?  It comes straight from the devil, and he does everything he can to get you to doubt the integrity of the Word of God.  In fact, everything the devil does is centered around that one thing.  When you doubt God, you are calling Him a liar.  That’s definitely a case of mistaken identity, for the Lord Jesus clearly told us the DEVIL is the liar, not God.

When you’re facing a test in life, whatever it is, whether it’s cancer, or financial disaster, or family problems, count it all joy.  Yeah, that’s right, I said count it all joy, for the LORD is setting you up for PROMOTION, not PROBLEMS.  He is giving you the opportunity to sample His faithfulness firsthand so you may be steadfast in trusting Him, no matter what you face in life.  Once you’ve settled yourself that you will not doubt God, you will NEVER have to ask again, “How can I tell if I really believe?” It will simply be, “I read it in God’s Word, and that’s that!  Thank You LORD, the victory is mine!”