Girlfriends in God is a non-denominational ministry that crosses generational and racial boundaries to bring the Body of Christ together as believers. Just as God sent Ruth to Naomi and Mary to Elizabeth, God continues to use women to encourage and equip other women in their spiritual journey. We are doing life together! The Girlfriends in God Daily Devotional is our popular daily Bible devotion for women. GIG Devotionals for Women offer wisdom and insight for applying Biblical truths to the ups and downs of everyday life. Reading daily devotions provides strength and encouragement in your daily walk with Jesus Christ.
God’s Money-Back Guarantee
“I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name” (Psalm 138:2, NLT).
Friend to Friend
I love money-back guarantees. We once bought a car to replace a van that had 125,000 miles on it. Our first vacation in the new car was a disaster. We began having trouble the very first day. On our way home, we stopped in four different cities, trying to find a mechanic who could repair the car. No one could explain or even find the problem. Needless to say, we were not happy campers. But when we returned home and contacted the dealership, we were told that because of the guarantee on the car, we could get our money back or trade it in for another one. Loved it!
Did you know that there is a money-back guarantee on every promise of God? Here it is in Psalm 138:2: “I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name” (nlt).Now if those words are true, why do we find it so hard to experience true peace and contentment in our lives?
I know life can be hard. Some of you are in so much pain that it is hard to breathe. But God knows where you are and what you are going through – and you really can trust Him. The apostle Paul had a firm grip on this truth.
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:11b-12, NIV).
Paul understood and lived by the truth that God is constantly at work in and around us, monitoring every step we take. Paul examined every circumstance, understanding that it had already passed through His Father’s hands with His permission. God came through for Paul, and He will come through for you. To find real security and contentment we must learn to search for the handprints of God in the every day circumstances of life.
Paul had every human right to be angry with God. After all, Paul had been faithful. He had given up much and endured great pain. And yet the undercurrent theme of this passage is gratitude. It is an attitude chosen by Paul. It is a learned perspective. In this verse, “learned” implies that Paul was educated by experience. In other words, Paul is saying that all of his experiences in life, good and bad, have become his tutor in contentment.
The word “content” can best be defined as “contained.” Don’t miss this. Paul had trained himself to focus on his inner resources, the resources his heart contained rather than the outward circumstances of life. He chose to be grateful. He chose to praise God – period. We hear his determination in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 when he says, “No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (nlt).
There is an old poem that captures this idea well:
“I rejoice in knowing that
There is no oil without squeezing the olives,
No wine without pressing the grapes,
No fragrance without crushing the flowers
And no real joy without sorrow.” (Author unknown)
Gratitude not only brings contentment, it brings perseverance and produces strength. God entrusts trials to us, giving us the opportunity to choose gratitude. It is easy to practice gratitude when the seas are calm and the skies are clear. The real test of gratitude is in the midst of the greatest storm of our lives.
In Africa there is a fruit called the “taste berry.” When eaten it changes a person’s taste buds so that everything tastes good and sweet. Gratitude is the “taste berry” in our spiritual lives. When our hearts are filled with gratitude, we will find contentment. Choose to practice gratitude.
Gratitude is wrapped around trust and contains the element of acceptance. Gratitude understands that God is sovereign and that His ways are not our ways. There will be times when we find it impossible to understand His process, but we can always trust His heart. Remember, there is a money-back guarantee on every promise of God.
Father, I come to You, confessing that I tend to have a heart that is filled with whining and complaining instead of gratitude. Please forgive me. Help me learn to see Your hand at work in my life. I want to trust You even when I don’t understand my circumstances. Right now, I choose to praise You, Lord.
In Jesus’s name,
Now It’s Your Turn
By faith, accept the truth that God is always at work in your life and thank Him for His steadfast provision. Look back over the last few days, weeks and months of your life. Now praise Him for the things He has done.
Identify the people or things in your life that you tend to think of and rely upon as sources of security and contentment.
Read Proverbs 3:5-6. What are the steps listed in this passage that – when taken – will produce contentment?
What hedges of protection can you put in place today that will prepare you to face tomorrow with security and contentment?
More from the Girlfriends
Since each lesson stands alone, it is not too late to join Mary’s weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey, for practical ways to tap into the power of God’s Word. When you join, you have access to all of the 2013 lessons. The current study is Power Up With Proverbs.
If you or someone you love struggles with depression, Mary’s book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, offers practical steps you can take to experience God’s deliverance from that pit and live a life of victory. And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.
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