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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Faith Failures

"You of little faith," He said, "why did you doubt?" - Matthew 14:31 NIV

I really appreciate how willing the Lord is to instruct us and tell us what changes we need to make when we seek Him about a concern or problem we have. In my case, I had begun getting sick a lot lately, and the whole thing had me confused and discouraged. At first, I made assumptions about it that didn't do a thing to solve my problem. When I got a nudge from the Holy Spirit to take the time to have a heart-to-heart talk with the Lord about it, I finally began to get some solid answers.

The first thing God told me was that I had caused my resistance to get low by depriving myself of the kind of sleep that my body and mind needed most. He reminded me of the Scripture that says, "God wants His loved ones to get their proper rest." (Psalm 127:2 TLB) The truth is that no matter how important we think our work is, or how much others depend on us, it is never God's will for us to let ourselves get run down. Whenever we begin depriving ourselves of the rest and restoration we need on a daily basis, our priorities are wrong somehow. If we will go to the Lord and ask for His help and guidance, He will show us what changes we need to make, and He will help us to follow His lead as we look to Him every step of the way. And our bodies, and our health, will thank us for it.

The Lord also showed me that one of the reasons for the attacks on my health was that I wasn't confessing His Word as diligently as I used to, and I was experiencing a major faith failure. Scripture tells us that hearing the Word of God increases our faith. (Romans 10:17) And hearing ourselves declare God's Word and promises over and over is one of the quickest and best ways to build our faith, even faith for healing and wholeness. The apostle Paul wrote, "And now I entrust you to God and His care and to His wonderful words which are able to build your faith and give you all the inheritance of those who are set apart for Himself." (Acts 20:32 TLB) When your faith is faltering, the most powerful thing you can do is to begin confessing the promises of God that pertain to your situation. God's Word has the power to not only build and boost our faith, but to renew our minds. And according to Scripture, we can't know the perfect will of God, or receive everything He has for us, until our minds are properly renewed. "Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for YOU]." (Romans 12:2 AMP) Either our hearts and minds will be programmed by the world, or by the Word. If by the world, we will get all the misery and mediocrity that the world has to offer. If by the Word, we will experience the abundant life that Jesus died to give us. (John 10:10)

The Lord also revealed to me that I had become an easy target for the devil and his dark forces by focusing too much on the disappointments in my life and in my work, and by yielding to discouragement, instead of resisting it. I once heard someone wisely say that disappointment is inevitable, while discouragement is a choice. We live in a fallen world filled with broken people, so we can't always avoid disappointments. Loved ones we thought we could count on will let us down. Our work will not always bring us the satisfaction, recognition, or reward that we had hoped for. And at times, our lives will not seem fulfilling or meaningful. But when we bring our disappointments and heartaches to the Lord in honest, unedited prayers, He will enable us to see ourselves and our circumstances from His perspective, and He will cause our problems to profit us somehow, just like He promised. (Romans 8:28)

The most important thing I learned from this experience is that if we are not constantly alert and vigilant, we can allow doubt and unbelief to creep into our minds and hearts. Excessive fatigue, failure to confess God's Word, and giving place to discouragement can all render our faith ineffective. When that happens, we lose our most intimate connection to the Lord, along with His mightiest interventions and richest blessings. Could you be experiencing a faith failure of your own today?

Prayer: Lord, I regret the times I allowed doubt and unbelief to hamper my faith out of laziness or negligence. Show me how to get the proper rest and relaxation every day, and to strike the perfect balance between work and play. I don't want to be driven by selfish ambition or worldly pursuits, but led by Your Spirit at all times. Remind me that discouragement can be highly destructive, and to take it seriously, so that I can be quick to resist it and refuse it. Fill me with a growing passion for Your Word, so that I can use it as an "indispensable weapon" against the dark forces. (Ephesians 6:17 MSG) Thank You that as I partner with You for the building of my faith, doubt and unbelief will not be able to rob me of Your very best blessings!

- J. M. Farro


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