"What do you conspire against the Lord? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time."
- Nahum 1:9 NKJV
My family and I have been raising ducks for more than ten years, and during that time, the Lord has used these delightful creatures to teach us many lessons on life and faith. Some of these lessons have been difficult and painful ones, but in His mercy, God has used them all to draw us to Him and His life-changing truths. I can still recall the day that I was cleaning out the duck house and refilling it with fresh bedding, a daily chore of ours. As I noticed that our female duck, Lily, had laid another egg during a season when she was supposed to be taking a rest from laying, a disturbing thought came to mind. “She is going to die of laying problems, just like your other females did.” Suddenly, a flood of horrifying memories came back to me, as I remembered how our two previous female ducks had died premature deaths because they laid eggs all year round, in spite of us giving them the best of care. I immediately “cast down” those negative thoughts, as Scripture instructs us (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), but they continued to plague me until I spent some undistracted time in prayer with the Lord, and sought Him through His Word.
God revealed to me that casting down the wrong thoughts wasn’t enough. I had to replace those wrong thoughts with right ones. And replacing them with the truth of God, and the promises of God, was the best strategy I could use. I asked the Lord to show me where to go in His Word, and He led me to a verse in Nahum 1:9 (NKJV), which says: "What do you conspire against the Lord? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time.” God showed me that every time I began to think that Lily was going to suffer the same fate as my previous ducks, I was to declare—“No, the Lord will make an utter end of this affliction, and it will NOT rise up a second time.” I am not by nature a brave person. Even as a child, I had a habit of worrying and fretting about everything. So it never ceases to amaze me how quickly fear often flees when I claim and stand on a promise from God. That’s because feeding on the Word of God feeds our faith. The apostle Paul reveals this when he writes, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17 NKJV) We not only receive faith for salvation through the Word, but we also receive faith for provision, opportunities, and blessings through the Word.
So exactly how do we feed on the Word of God? We read it, study it, memorize it, meditate on it, and we apply it to our lives. Jesus said, "People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God." (Matthew 4:4 NLT) Every time we are faced with an unsettling situation, we can choose to feed our fear, or feed our faith. Fear will always rob us of God’s best. But faith will open the door to God’s wonder-working power. And so will thanks and praise. Scripture says: “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors Me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23 NIV) The Lord knows that when we give Him thanks and praise before our prayers are answered, it’s a sacrifice for us. Anyone can thank God after their prayers are answered; that doesn’t take much faith. But it takes deep faith to give God thanks from our hearts before our miracle manifests. And the Lord delights in honoring that kind of faith. As I began thanking God for protecting, delivering, and healing Lily, I became filled with joy and peace, and I discovered firsthand how lifting my voice in praise can feed and increase my faith. Lily is now more than five years old, and she is the oldest female we have ever had. She is happy and healthy, and I trust God every day to keep her that way. Today, ask yourself—am I feeding my fear or my faith?
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for my fears and doubts. Whenever I’m tempted to become fearful, remind me that feeding on Your Word and Your promises is a very effective way to feed my faith. Thank You that as I stand firm on Your truth, and give thanks for Your saving help, I will witness You moving mountains on my behalf!
- J. M. Farro