March 31, 2022

The Unstoppable Word Of God

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So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

Hannah Whitall Smith is known for writing a little book called, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life. Since 1875, millions of people have been helped by it. But if you thought that Smith was qualified to write this devotional because her life was perfect, think again.

Raised as a Quaker, by the time she married and had children, she doubted the existence of God.  It was the loss of a five-year-old child that drew her to a prayer meeting and to Jesus Christ. Smith’s writing is encouraging. She addressed doubt, saying that “All doubts are an attack of the enemy; the Holy spirit never suggests them–never. He is the Comforter, not the Accuser; and He never shows us our need without at the same time revealing the Divine supply.”[1]

Sadly, however, all was not well in the Whitall Smith family or, eventually with Hannah herself.  Smith’s husband was openly adulterous and left his faith, eventually becoming a Buddhist.  Their three children all publicly rejected Christ and, in the end of her life, Smith herself left faith in Christ, embracing universalism and religious pluralism.[2]

We may wonder how God could continue to use Smith’s work to help so many grow spiritually after she fell away—was she ever a true follower of Jesus?  Here is a hopeful fact:  The Word of God bears fruit—it says of itself that it always accomplishes His purpose and succeeds in the reason that God sends it out (Isaiah 55:11), regardless of the messenger.

 

Resource reading: 2 Timothy 3:16-17

[1] Smith, H. W. (n.d.). The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life – ntslibrary. ntslibrary.com. Retrieved February 28, 2022, from http://www.ntslibrary.com/PDF%20Books/The%20Christian%20Secret%20of%20%20Happy%20Life.pdf

[2] DeYoung, K., & (PhD, K. D. Y. (2010, July 22). Andy Naselli on Hannah Whitall Smith’s Unhappy Life. The Gospel Coalition. Retrieved February 28, 2022, from https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevin-deyoung/hannah-whitall-smiths-unhappy-life/