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.
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.”
If God backs every promise in His Word, 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 when he wrote these words:
“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 daily circumstances of life.
Paul had every 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.”
Are you ready? Because this truth can slam into your heart and mind and, if you let it, will change the way you see every trial from this moment on!
Paul trained himself to focus on his inner resources 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.”
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 when it makes absolutely no logical sense for us to be grateful.
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’ 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. 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 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
Many of us are constantly looking for something “better.” What is the secret of contentment? Check out Mary’s MP3 download The Secret of Contentment for steps you can take to experience satisfaction and joy each and every day. Be sure to connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.