Thursday, June 2, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Many Troubles

“’I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel.” Malachi 2:16

Who would know better than the architect of marriage that living with another person day in and day out isn’t always easy? God understands what we’re going through, even in our worst circumstances. When Paul stated that “those who marry will face many troubles in this life” (1 Corinthians 7:28), he wasn’t kidding! Fortunately, God has given us a blueprint in Scripture for success and fulfillment in our marriage relationship. The Lord designed marriage for our benefit, and He knows that destroying this partnership is harmful to us in countless ways.

No wonder God hates divorce. He has made it clear that the concept of separating permanently from one’s marriage partner is not only unacceptable, but abhorrent. The only exception He has recorded for us is in the case of adultery, and even in that situation there is room for forgiveness and reconciliation if we follow Christ’s merciful example.

Our encouragement to you as a husband and wife who seek God’s best is a very personal one. As Jim and I have sought out and followed the Word of God, we have found all the stability and fulfillment in our marriage that He has promised! And you will, too. Marriage is His idea, after all, and His principles and values naturally produce harmony between people. It’s sinful behaviors that kill a relationship.

When your time of “many troubles” strikes, Satan will be ready at just the right moment to suggest the “solution” of divorce. Perhaps you’ve already arrived at this place in the past. Surely you know and love couples who have come to this moment, and have chosen to believe Satan’s lie.

My prayer is that you will believe God instead.

- Shirley M Dobson

From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Girlfriends in God - It’s All About Timing

Today’s Truth

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19, NIV).

Friend to Friend

My husband was determined to teach me how to fish … whether I wanted to learn or not. We were on vacation with our two children and everyone was getting in on Dan’s fishing lessons.

Danna had already announced that she would never - under any circumstances - touch a worm or a fish. Dan and Jered promised to bait her hook and reel in any fish she caught. I knew what they were thinking: the possibility of Danna actually learning how to cast a line or catch a fish was so remote that they had nothing to fear. They could not have been more wrong.

The fish seemed to jump on Danna’s hook. She squealed with excitement as she literally dragged fish after fish onto the shore and watched her brother and dad hurriedly unhook the fish and toss it back in the water.

I was next.

Dan patiently explained that the reel should be below rod. I could sense his confidence wane when I asked him which thing-a-ma-jig was a rod and which doo-hickey was a reel. He pressed on, encouraging me to just listen. Dan then promised that I would be catching fish in no time as he gave the following list of directions:

Let out the line until there are about six inches hanging out.

Hold the line against the rod with the crook of your index finger.

Point the rod at the spot on the lake you want to hit.

In one smooth motion, bring the rod up, allowing the tip to flex behind you.

Without pausing, push the rod forward.

Use your elbow and wrist – not your shoulder.

When the tip of the rod is halfway to the target, let go of the line with your index finger.

I must have been in shock because I did not understand one word my delusional husband had just spoken.

“The lure will go flying,” Dan assured me. It did indeed fly – backwards into the trees on the shore, catching on a limb.

Dan patiently dislodged the hook and then smiled and said, “Your timing is just a little off, honey. Fishing is all about timing."

I could not have agreed more. It was time for me to go back to the cabin, grab a book and drink, and head for the hammock.

Dan decided to call in our son for support. Jered looked at me and said, “Mom, do you really want to do this?” He knows me well. “Nope! Not even a little bit,” I said. He grinned and gave me a shorter and much simpler set of directions that ended with, “Mom, it really is all about timing. Just relax and have fun.” I could not imagine fishing and fun existing in the same world, but I tried.

My hook got caught in rocks, bushes and the back of my shirt. At that point, I said, “Enough! I am done!"

Dan said, “Honey, think about Babe Ruth.” I was lost. What did Babe Ruth have to do with fishing?

Dan said, “Babe Ruth hit a lot of foul balls and struck out many times, but he never gave up and became a baseball legend."

I knew that.

Dan explained, “Babe Ruth said that the difference between a foul ball and a homerun is timing. The same is true of fishing.” I. Did. Not. Care. When Dan saw that look in my eye, he grinned and said, “Want to head back to the cabin?” I did.

As I lay in the hammock, I breathed in the sweet mountain air and let my thoughts wander, landing once again on the importance of timing – in life and in God’s plan.

A financial need arises and I panic – until the unexpected check arrives in the mail.

Discouragement makes me want to quit – until an email of thanks lands in my inbox.

I want the chronic pain to be taken away – until I realize that God uses it to keep me desperate for Him.

Our daughter and her family have to move hundreds of miles away because her husband got a great job offer. I struggle and cry my way to a place of acceptance and peace about their decision – and then the job offer of a lifetime opens up here, and they don’t have to move.

Yes! God’s timing is perfect. It always has been and always will be perfect. Why can’t I accept that truth? Why can’t I trust Him even when circumstances falsely scream that He is not trustworthy? When will I learn to walk by faith, knowing that He is faithful even when I am faithless?

God’s ways are higher than my ways and the ways of this broken world.
God’s thoughts surpass the highest human thought I will ever have.
God will always come through for me.
God is for me.

God’s love is not a shallow love that always rescues easily or quickly. God loves us enough to walk us through the fiery times that make us more like His Son, Jesus Christ. Again … His ways are not our ways, and our thoughts are so often very different from His thoughts.

God is Holy.

God is faithful.

And we really can trust Him to work at the right time and in the right way for our good and for His glory. 

Let’s Pray

Father, Thank You for meeting the needs in my life in Your perfect timing. Forgive me when I fail to trust You. I want to learn how to wait on You to work in my life. Your faithfulness sustains me and Your mercy blesses my life. I praise You, God!
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Psalm 104:13-15. How does this passage of Scripture encourage you to trust God in every area of your life?

What need in your life is a source of fear and uncertainty? Right now, surrender that need to God and praise Him for meeting it.

More from the Girlfriends

Macintosh HD:Users:Mary:Desktop:proof_10_days_01.pdfIf you need help learning how to trust God, get Mary’s new book, 10-Day Trust Adventure, now available in hard copy.

Perfect for personal or small group study, this book addresses every decision you make - and teaches you how to make those decisions as you step out in faith and trust God.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

Seeking God? Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 1311
Huntersville, NC 28070

His Princess Every Day - Covered

Devotionals for Women - Inspirational author and speaker Sheri Rose Shepherd imagines what a letter written from God to you would look like.

My Princess Warrior,

Never fear, My chosen Warrior, you are under My wing and covered with My Son’s blood. The cross covered your guilt, I covered your shame, and you are covered with My extravagant love! As soon as you ask my forgiveness, I never again remember your wrongs. No matter what you have done or where you have gone, you are now as white as snow, and a pure princess in my sight. You are a new creation and covered by my grace and mercy forever. Now get up and enjoy the rest of your days knowing you are covered, my beloved warrior!

Your King 

Purify me from my sins and I will be wash me and I will be clean and I will be whiter than snow. - Psalm 51:7 (NLT)

A Prayer Covering

I pray that you will fully understand the beauty of being in your Father’s family, and the grace that He has given you. I pray you will celebrate your new life and walk free from any guilt or regret. May you find peace and shelter in the covering of His abundant love and grace. Nothing can separate you from Him if you continue to obey Him. I pray you will see yourself as the pure princess you are. May you be safe from the evil in this world and live in abundant blessing! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection. - Psalm 91:4 (NLT)

This devotional is written by Sheri Rose Shepherd. All content copyright Sheri Rose Shepherd 2015. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Visit for devotionals, books, videos, and more from Sheri Rose Shepherd.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - OPEN DOORS OF OPPORTUNITY

But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me. 1 Corinthians 16:8-9

The Apostle Paul was always focused on opportunity. Yet he was a realist who knew the opposition he faced from the enemy of our souls. He expresses here an interest in visiting the Corinthian Church for a significant period of time. But it would not be until after Pentecost because of great open doors for effective work in spite of much opposition. In doing kingdom work we should always expect opposition but that should not blind us to the great opportunities.

A young pastor in the southern Philippines who attended a Standing Strong Through the Storm (SSTS) seminar, shares his personal experiences with this principle:

“The SSTS taught me a lot of things. First, it taught me to stand firm in the Lord during tough times. Second, it taught me to establish my relationship with God and not to focus on difficulties. Third, it taught me to lead my whole family to serve and obey God even though hardship and persecution come. And also it taught me to continue on with the ministry, even if others abandon us.

“My wife and I were newlyweds and fresh graduates of a Bible school when God called us to start a work among the Muslims. We were afraid of them and did not know how to minister to them. Open Doors gave us books on how to love the Muslims. In one community we started literacy classes among the children.

“But the more we grew in our desire to obey God, the more our faith was tested. In 2004, I was diagnosed with stage-four pancreatic cancer. But my sickness did not stop the Lord in accomplishing His purpose for our lives. In 2008, He led us to permanently settle in a place where most Christians dared not go. As we obeyed God, we experienced His great power—that same year, my doctor told me that I was cancer free!

“The Lord also paved the way for us to reach one Muslim tribe through an adult literacy project. We built relationships with our students and eventually shared the gospel with them. We seized every opportunity to help them with their needs, more so with their relationship with Jesus Christ.

“I would say that the biggest test of our faith was not when I got sick, but when our sending church abandoned us and cut our support. I felt alone, but God sustained me and my family.

“The Lord is continuously opening more opportunities for us to minister to our Muslim brothers. Right now, with Open Doors’ help, we are holding literacy classes among the three Muslim tribes in our area. We are also distributing the JESUS film when there is any opportunity to do so.”

RESPONSE: Today I will not allow opposition to blind me to the opportunities of service God provides.

PRAYER: Lord, give me strength to walk through open doors of effective work in the face of opposes.

Verse of the Day - June 02, 2016

Hebrews 9:28 (NIV) Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Read all of Hebrews 9