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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

The Doubt That Destroys

"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
- 2 Peter 1:20-21 NIV

When my younger son was in high school, he had a friend named Jim whose parents were missionaries. This couple had spent most of their married lives spreading the Gospel and ministering to others. They had raised four wonderful children who were devoted to the Lord. They seemed like the perfect family, and I had great respect and admiration for them. Because of that, I was stunned when I heard that Jim's mother had deserted her husband and children, and eventually moved in with another man. This woman not only turned her back on her family, but on God as well. She wanted nothing to do with Christians or the Bible in her "new life." As a result, her entire family began to fall apart at the seams. Though Jim's father tried desperately to reconcile with his wife, all of his attempts failed, and she eventually divorced him. In an effort to console himself, he hastily entered a second marriage, which turned out to be disastrous. All of the children's lives were devastated by the growing turmoil, and Jim ended up in jail for numerous offenses. I had never witnessed such a good family go so wrong so quickly. When I began earnestly seeking God about it, I believe He revealed to me one of the main causes of the disintegration of this family. The Lord reminded me about a discussion that my husband and Jim's mother had about the Bible when we first met her. She had voiced having serious doubts about the veracity of the Scriptures--saying that "after all, they were written by men"--and I distinctly remember a holy fear coming over me when my husband told me about it.

When Jim's mother began doubting the truth of God's Word, she opened the door for Satan to come into her family to "steal, kill and destroy." (John 10:10) I know from experience that when we don't take God at His Word, we become open to all kinds of wrong philosophies--those belonging to the world and Satan. In Colossians 2:8 (NLT), the apostle Paul warns: "Don't let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ." Having a working knowledge of God's Word is extremely valuable. But what's just as important is for us to BELIEVE it. Hebrews 4:2 (NIV) says that when we don't believe the Word of God, it will have "no value" to us. It's up to us to choose to believe it. When we do, the Lord promises to make it effectual for us so we can walk in victory in every area of our lives. First Thessalonians 2:13 (AMP) says: "When you received the message of God [which you heard from us], you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it]." When Jim's mother began to think of God's Word as written by mere men, she robbed it of its power for her life, and she gave Satan the foothold he needed to rob her of God's protection and provision.

When I first began studying the Bible almost 20 years ago, I saw it as the very Word of the Living God, and I had more joy and peace in my life than ever before. But after a few years, doubt and unbelief began creeping in, and I began suffering from depression, anxiety and despair. I asked the Lord what had changed, and He led me to a book by a famous Christian author which said that when we begin to doubt God's Word, we open the door for the enemy to come in and invade our minds with destructive thoughts and attitudes. Once I took my stand against all doubt and unbelief, my depression lifted and I regained my peace and joy. One of the most valuable aspects about taking God at His Word is that it gives us stability. Paul talks about this in Ephesians 5:14-15 (NLT) when he writes: "We will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. Instead we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ." Satan is constantly looking for ways he can cause us to doubt God's Word, because he knows that if he can succeed, he can get us to believe his lies. Once he accomplishes this, he can virtually control our lives and rob us of the good things God has in store for us. James wrote: "A doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord." (James 1:6-8 NLT) My prayer for you today is that you'll take God at His Word, and receive all the marvelous blessings He has in store for you!

Prayer: Lord, today I ask You to give me a renewed and steadfast faith in Your Word. When I'm tempted to doubt, remind me that my unbelief can cost me a lot more than I'm willing to pay. Thank You that my faith in Your Word will bring me peace, joy and stability! (Romans 15:13 NASB)

- J. M. Farro


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