Isaiah 41:10

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Isaiah 41:10  

“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

Isaiah here in this verse is speaking to Israel regarding primarily those Jews who were exiled in Babylon, and as stated by theologian Albert Barnes, “during their long and painful captivity in Babylon; and the idea is, that they who had been selected by God to be his special people had nothing to fear.” God, through Isaiah was telling His people not to fear Babylon and what they are doing to them and how they could be affected by them.  And why should they not fear?  God, through Isaiah, tells them “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 41:10b. 

This is a wonderful promise God gave to His people, the Jewish nation.  However now we, as Christians, are His people.  Paul said it this way. “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.”  2 Corinthians 6:14-16.  The highlighted phrase comes from Leviticus where He tells the Israelites, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.” Leviticus 26:12.   So, God’s people are those who believe in the Christ as the Messiah and have accepted Him as their Lord and God.  These include both Jews and Gentiles.  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16. So, our focus verse applies to all people, both Jews and Gentiles who are Christians.   

So, let us see this promise in relation to out time today.  There is no need for us to be afraid no matter what comes our way.  We should not fear anything because God is our strength and He will always help us.  Whether is be an illness such as Corona Virus or Flu or any type of sickness.  He can protect us and heal us from any sickness.  Therefore, we should place our trust in Him no matter what illness comes our way.  “and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.”  James 5:15.  If we are in need of anything, no matter what it is, God will provide it.  “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19. 

Closing, we must not let anything that happens to us make us afraid.   We know that there is nothing that God cannot do for He can do all things.  If we are sick He can heal us.  If we are hungry He can provide us food.  If we are thirsty He can provide us drink.  He will never leave us of forsake us.  And remember what Jesus said to us.  “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?  And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?  And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!  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.  So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34.  And even if He is ready to call us home, He has a tremendous promise as well given through Paul, where he said, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21.  Therefore, do not be afraid of anything, for as I like to say, God has this.  He is in control and He wants the absolute best for us.  “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.

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

Psalm 121:2

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Psalm 121:2  

“My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” – Psalm 121:2

Psalm 121 begins by declaring where help for them who trusts in God actually comes from.  “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?” Psalm 121:1 We are not sure of the author; however, it appears it is someone who is encountering troubles.  He is looking up into the hills and asking where his help is to come from.  Looking up into the hills has the idea of looking for assistance and many times it would come down from the mountains during times of attacks or the coming of thieves.  This turns out to be a rhetorical question, for he immediately answers the question, “My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:2.   

How will He help us?  In every situation, He will enable us to stand firm.  “He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.” Psalm 121:3  To stand firm means that He will hold us up and help us to stand strong against whatever is happening.  “For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13.  And He will not go away or slumber but will be with us through it all.  Remember He said, “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8. 

He is our defender and keeper, the one who preserves us through all trials and strife.  “The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand.” He watches over every aspect of our lives.  He does not necessarily prevent all pain and suffering, however He does guarantee protection to us, His people, as He watches over us.  We are to trust that we are safe and secure because He is with us.  “I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” Psalm 16:10

He then goes on to say that He will protect us from the heat of the day and the cold of night.  “The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night.” Psalm 121:6.  And He will protect us from all forms of evil, be it spiritual or corporeal, natural or moral.  “The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.” Psalm 121:7-8. In other words, He will preserve us wherever we go, at all time be it day or night.

In this time, we are moving into some difficult times.  There are so many unknowns such as where is our country heading, will we ever overcome this pandemic, and what will our lives be like in the future.  However, I want to encourage everyone to look to Jesus and keep focused on Him in all matters.  “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.”  Isaiah 26:3-4.  We must not let our minds be absorbed with all this stuff going on in politics and every area other than God.  He has promised to be with us and to bring us safely through.  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.  Trust God in everything.  Give it to Him, knowing that He will be with us and take care of us. 

God knows the good He has for us, the assurance of a great future and hope.  “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.  Have complete faith in Him no matter what things look like.  The writer of Hebrews told us “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1.  All things God has promised us will happen as He said.  It may not look like it, but there is no other possible outcome.  “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;” Hebrews 10:23.

God has promised He would take care of us now, and for all eternity.  “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4.  We must keep our minds focused on God and the things above, for there is our true home.  Focusing  entirely on Him, we will be amazed at the peace that fills our hearts, mind and spirit.    

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

Psalm 46:1

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 46:1 

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1 

This verse to me is one of the most encouraging in all the scriptures.  It tells us that God is a place of safety for us in a world that is filled with danger.  The word ‘refuge’ is from a word meaning to ‘flee’ and then ‘to flee to’.  It has the idea of taking shelter: a place one would flee to in a time of danger.  Earlier in the psalms we read the following from David.  “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.” Psalm  18:2-3.  And as the last part of the verse states. He is a very present help in our times of trials.

And because He is our refuge, we have no reason to fear.  “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea, Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.” Psalm 46:2-3. No matter what may come our way, whatever disaster my come upon us.  He knows everything and is with us at all times.  Therefore, we know that if we are in His presence, we are safe.  As the writer of proverbs puts it, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10. 

This idea is not just in the Old Testament.  Jesus Himself taught this to His disciples.  “On that day, when evening came, He said to them, Let us go over to the other side.  Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up.  Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?  And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush, be still. And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.  And He said to them, Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?  They became very much afraid and said to one another, Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” Mark 4:35-41. I believe this was set up as a point of learning, but I will not say this dogmatically.  Here they were with Jesus, the very Son of God.  They had seen Him do many miracles of healing and the casting out of demons.  And now they were in a boat with Him with a powerful storm, they lacked the faith to believe everything was OK.  Jesus was not concerned, for He just continued to sleep peaceably.  But they were afraid and said, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Mark 4:38b.  Then after Jesus rebuked the wind, He asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

It is important that we truly grasp the words found in Psalm 46:1.  No matter what comes upon us He is there with us and is our refuge.  Today we are seeing so many instances where people fear what is going to happen to them.  As Christians, we must remember what Paul wrote to the Philippians.  “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21.  He had the confidence that God would address any situation that may come up, whether he lives of dies.  Another way to put this is ‘whatever happens, I win’.  During any trial we happen to endure, we can always run to God as our refuge.  He will either protect us here on earth, or He will take us home.  Either way, as our focus verse says, “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1.

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