Ralph's Daily Devotional - Friday, May 4

I like this verse since Jude, as Jesus' brother, was himself at first a doubter that Jesus was really the messiah.  He later came to faith and understands the need for mercy.  There is a great difference between doubt and unbelief.  Neither words are commended in the Bible, but only one is condemned: unbelief.  Unbelief is the refusal to believe, even when presented with the truth.  We see such unbelief, for example, in Romans 1:18-21

Doubt, however, is not refusing faith, but struggling with faith for various reasons.  It may arise due to an emotional trauma which perhaps causes our faith to be severely tried, or maybe we are having an intellectual battle in trying to believe.  We see this in Mark 9:23-25.

Jude calls us who possess a strong faith to have mercy on those who doubt (Jude 1:22).  Not all are strong.  Some are weak in faith and yet believers.  I would rather have a weak faith in Jesus than a strong faith in Vishnu!  It is not always the quantity of our faith but the quality that will win the day.

To have mercy on doubters is to not be judgmental but helpful.  Offer your friendship and try to discover and discern why they are doubting.  Often, people caught up in doubt feel great guilt - even to the point of not talking about it or avoiding other believers.

Try to help them by sharing your own times of doubt, for none of us have perfect faith.  CS Lewis' "Mere Christianity" is a great book about building a deeper faith.  Most importantly, remember Paul's words, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God!"

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