Psalm 94:19

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Psalm 94:19

“When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, your consolations delight my soul.” – Psalm 94:19

As the world moves forward, it is easy to see how people are getting nervous about where we are being taken.  And we see this especially true in the United States.  There is much we can talk about, however I want to focus on only a couple and hopefully bring some solace, for we have every reason to be at peace. 

The first is the pandemic.  We see all forms of fear being spread among people, such as if  we get near someone infected by Covid-19 we will become infected as well and may die.  It is important to remember that with God, all things are possible.  “And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26.  There is not one disease or illness that is beyond His ability to heal.  David said it like this.  “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;” Psalm 103:1-4.  God is fully capable of pardoning all our iniquities and to heal every one of our illnesses.  And this includes COVID-19. 

The other issue is the 2020 Presidential Election.  The fear that is being perpetuated upon us is unbelievable.  Yes, it does appear that the results of our election were manipulated to the benefit of the left.  However, this should not be a reason for fear, for God is in control.  Even though man believes he is, this is simply a delusion.  Things may not go the way we want it to, but all will go well.  “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.  I know I use this verse a lot, but to me it is one of the most comforting and uplifting in all of scripture.  Not that some but ALL things work toward our good for those who love Him. 

There is no reason for us to be anxious about these things, or anything else as well.  As our focus verse says, “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.” Psalm 94:19. We must reach out to God regarding these issues, and all others, and He will bring consolation to our souls.  Let us look at some other verses that are comforting when understood and taken to heart.  “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.  During these difficult times, look to God and He will be there to strengthen and comfort you.  And God has plans for all of us.  “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.  Man’s plans may be self-centered and for the benefit of a few, however God says His plans for us are for our good, and to give us a glorious hope and future.  What is happening now is nothing compared to the glory we shall see in our future.  God has nothing but good planned for us.  “The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand,” Isaiah 14:24.  And nothing can thwart this.  “For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?” Isaiah 14:27. 

One thing I have learned in my many years as a true and devoted Christian is that though things may not look all that good and positive, God can bring us through anything that the enemy has planned.  He knows the end from the beginning and He is completely in charge.  As David said of Him, “Blessed are You, O LORD God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.” 1 Chronicles 29:10-11.  Let us always remember this and focus our thoughts on His greatness and not man’s foolishness.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Philippians 4:6

Verse of the Day Devotion: Philippians 4:6 

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” – Philippians 4:6 

Paul, in writing to the church at Philippi is encouraging them not be worried about things of this life.  He is not saying for us not to take care of any matters we need to address.  We do need to take care of our property and provide for our families.  As Paul wrote to Timothy, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8.  We are to take care of what God has given to us.  However, as the theologian Albert Barnes put it, “but that there is to be such confidence in God as to free the mind from anxiety.”  Jesus Himself put it this way.  “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:32-33. 

Paul goes on to say, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” Philippians 4:6b.  We are to trust God in everything; our needs and wants, everything regarding afflictions, embarrassment, trials, hurts and persecutions.  There is nothing we cannot go to our God with, whether it be regarding our bodies or minds, our hopes, dreams, conflicts, or fears.  And also, for anyone; ourselves, friends, families, strangers or even enemies. 

The Lord wants us to come to Him in everything.  We are to come to Him in both prayer and supplication.  The word ‘supplication’ is a stronger word than prayer.  It is the type of prayer which especially comes about from need or want in our lives.  And there is an especially important inclusion in this verse regarding prayer, with thanksgiving.  Whenever we lift up our requests to God, no matter what for, we need to be thankful.  Whether it be for needs, wants, or afflictions.  A good example of this is Paul and Silas in the Philippian jail.  “The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;” Acts 16:22-25.  They were beaten with rods, their feet placed in stocks and thrown into jail.  However, they were not anxious or complaining, they were praising God in the midst of their suffering.  And what happened?  God set them free. 

And what is the result of following our focus verse?  “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7. God will give us peace which surpasses our understanding.  And this peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ.  We must trust that God will be with us in all things, and that all He does and allows will work toward our good.  In other words, we must be content in all things.  “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how-to live-in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  God will supply all our needs, no matter what those needs are.  Contentment comes when we believe this and trust He will make it happen.  He promised us this, and He will bring it to pass.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

Psalm 139:23

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 139:23 

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts.” – Psalm 139:23  

This is a prayer we should pray regularly, although I believe it is one that is hardly ever lifted to God.  David here is calling out to God to search him and know his heart.  This is interesting because in the first verse of this chapter he declares, “O LORD, You have searched me and known me.” Psalm 139:1  However, he is being more explicit in our focus verse and asking that He would show him his heart.  David is asking God to examine the innermost parts of him; that with great scrutiny and reveal this to him.  Why?  Because David does not want to be under any delusion regarding who He is in the deepest depths of his heart.  That he is true in everything he sees about himself, whether good or bad.  For how can we know we need to change if we are not honest about what is in our hearts.  God already knows him completely, therefore this request regards David’s desire to know the reality of himself.

David is asking God to lay bare the true state of his heart.  The idea is to not just know his outward conduct, but also what he thinks about, what are the thoughts and beliefs that move him to act as he does.  What is it that occupies his thoughts and imaginations.  What is it that he enjoys and what controls his will.  He has asked God to try him, so that the results of these tests will be revealed to him.  David knew there were things in his innermost being that needed to be changed and he was wanting God to reveal these things.  David wanted God to show him the real David, for in seeing this he could follow the path God wants him to take. “And see if there be any hurtful way in me and lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:24.  David desired to live life as God wanted.  He wanted God, through showing him what was truly inside him, to guide him in the way that leads to everlasting life.

David was a very brave soul to ask this of God.  For we all have thoughts, beliefs and ungodly ways that affect us, even if we do not recognize them.  Many Christians believe they are good because their actions and deeds are good.  However, this Christian walk goes beyond doing and actually consists of who we are as well, which is found in our hearts and minds.  We can fool ourselves and others by our deeds, but when we look deep inside of us and allow God to show us the hidden things within us, these will show us reality, which can be scary, but should be looked at as a path to growth in our relationship with God and a deepening in our Christian walk.   

So, I encourage everyone who reads this to pray the same prayer David did, and understand God’s response may not be what we expect or want to hear, but it is necessary in order to be the Christian He desires of us, real in both deeds and intentions.  For as I alluded above, how can we correct something if we do not see anything that is wrong?  We all have areas that need improvement.  Let us call out to the Almighty God who loves us with an everlasting love, to show us what is in our hearts.  And when He does, He will also show us what we need to change.  Remember, David said, “And lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:24b.  If this is what we want, then we must go through the pain and anxiety of seeing who we truly are so we can become who we ought to be. 

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.