REMEMBER is defined as;
- to have or keep an image or idea in your mind of (something or someone from the past) : to think of (something or someone from the past) again; to cause (something) to come back into your mind; to keep (information) in your mind- merriam-webster.com
- To keep (someone) in mind as worthy of consideration or recognition- thefreedictionary.com
From the above, we can deduce that the act of remembering is something that is consciously done and also requires effort. We have to exercise our minds in holding on to or recalling the thoughts that we want it to have.
So, why is this concept of remembering important to us as Christians, and what are we even to remember?
As Christians it is necessary that we constantly remember and bring to our minds God’s word and Promises concerning our lives. As the scripture says in Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
3 You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Have you ever wondered why and how the Israelites could be such murmurers and complainers, after experiencing the great miraculous works that God did?
Let us imagine together that we were Israelites in the days of Moses and we witnessed 1st hand the 10 plagues upon the Egyptians- The River Nile turning into blood, a whole nation filled with Frogs & Flies, the massive death of livestock, a plague of hail and Locusts etc etc…All this and so much more done just to rescue the Israelites from the land of Egypt. Finally after much ado, and the loss of all 1st born children of the Egyptians in one night, Pharoah said GO! At this point the Israelites must have known a Great God was certainly backing them. I mean it was glaring there must have been a mighty power working for them.
Next, they get to the Red Sea- at this point maybe I can understand their complain, I probably would have panicked too- It’s like standing at the beach and wondering ‘okay how exactly are we going to go across this’? No one could have thought the waters would split into two, to open a pathway for them. Panic is very understandable because regardless of the miracles they had seen, this mighty water ahead seemed like a major obstacle. And once again the Almighty Jehovah, The I AM THAT I AM, moved in yet another miraculous way. He parted the sea!!!
Picture courtesy www.theology21.com
Please take a moment to imagine the scenario above happening in this age. Quite mind boggling and miraculous indeed! … I reckon some people would pass out, some others would have their mouths open wide till a shark goes in:-) Others would begin to call on their ancestors to come save them, and some like me would be in such great awe that we won’t even be able to go across. Truly the parting of the Red Sea was the final clincher in the Award-winning Action Film going on. That’s the part where you say #GBAM!!!
So consider people who beheld such glorious miracles wrought by God, then begin to complain of basic things such as food or water. Could a God that parted a whole sea not provide food? Could a God that send food pouring down from heaven not provide water? Could a God that made water come out from a rock not do it again? Could a God that delivered them from Pharoah, not help them conquer a land??? So what happened to the Israelites? Why were they such complainers and murmurers. I found this answer in Psalm 106 vs 7, 13, 21;
7 Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; They did not remember the multitude of Your mercies, But rebelled by the sea—the Red Sea.
13 They soon forgot His works; They did not wait for His counsel,
21 They forgot God their Saviour, Who had done great things in Egypt,
The israelites were masterful at forgetting. Whenever they came across another challenge, they were more mindful of what was before them, instead of remembering where they were coming from and the God behind them.
Moses tried to keep reminding them. Deutrononmy 8, was a continuous admonition telling them to remember God and forget Him not. In Deuteronomy 5:15, he said
15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm
Unfortunately the Israelites were always quick to forget what God had done for them.
David was a man who knew how to remember the goodness of God in his life regardless of his situation. Imagine being anointed as king, and for the next couple of years you become a fugitive, a most wanted criminal by the man whom you helped defeat a great foe and even became his musician…For David, i’m, sure it would have been easy to wonder if God really cared for him or called him. But David never doubted Gods love for him because he always reminded himself of God’s faithfulness in his life.
In Psalm 63, a Psalm he wrote when he was in the wilderness of Judah, verses 6-7 says;
6 When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
7 Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
Before we are quick to judge the Israelites, I wonder if we are also not guilty of being forgetful in our lives.
Personally, several times, I find myself worrying about a situation, next I begin to feel down and get all bothered, and then wonder how, when, where etc. One day it occured to me I was exhibiting the same behaviour just like the Israelites. I realise that I am forgetting the fact that I am alive is an awesome miracle in itself. I forget all the amazing things God has saved me from both known and unknown. I forget His provisions, some which I didn’t even pray for. I forget His answers to my paryers exceeding and abundant.
So i’m learning that instead of bothering myself, realising that my worrying cant even do anything about the matter (Matt 6:27), why don’t I Just remember my God and trust that He who brought me here, will see me through! And whats the best way of doing that? Remembering his deeds in the past and allowing that to minister to me. Remembring His promises to me by taking my Bible and reading them.
So just like me, do you find yourself forgetting God’s goodness in your life when it seems the going is tough?
Psalm 103:2-5 is a great reminder for such times when we need to remember;
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
Psalm 77:10-12 also says;
10 And I said, “This is my fate;
the Most High has turned his hand against me.”
11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
12 They are constantly in my thoughts.
I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
So today I encourage you as I encourage myself, do not forget to remember God’s goodness in your life. God is God!!! He loves you and he is there for you always (Psalm 46:1).
Don’t let the devil feed you a lie. Don’t let your mind play tricks on you. Remember that it is Gods faithfulness that has kept you till today, and we are reassured that even when we are faithless, he is faithful. (2nd Tim 2:13)
So what are the 3 key things to remember;
- What God has done in the past.
- The Word He has given us concerning every situation we might be facing.
- We have the Holy Spirit who always helps us remember (John 14:26).
Remembering all that God has done for us is crucial in our everyday lives because there are many things that we see daily which try to contradict God’s Love for us and His promises to us. Life can be a constant up and down movement. At some points, you are great, everything is fine and life couldn’t be better. At some other points, you are so low, and down in the dumps and it seems everything is in upside down.
What do you do in those moments? You remember the good times and encourage yourself in it, knowing that they will return again.
Seeing that there are so many distractions in the midst of all the busyness we face daily, how can we help ourselves remember God’s promises and His goodness. I’d leave you with some tips below
TIPS TO HELP US REMEMBER
- When you get up in the morning, your first thoughts (regardless of any issues you might be facing) should be of God’s goodness in your life. Let thanksgiving start your day.
- Make sure you read your bible morning and evening, no matter the busyness of life. I am sure you can find some time for this. (Joshua 1:8)
- Put reminders on your phone, tabs, laptops etc that pop up periodically with scripture verses God has given you. You can also have sticky notes around the place that ensure you will always see it.
- Make a reminder schedule, don’t just think it will happen, you have to make it happen. Have a specific time daily or weekly that set aside to meditate on God’s goodness.
- Surround yourself with Godly friends that inspire you in Godly things…They make you accountable, they give you sound advice. (Hebrews 3:13)
- Those notes you make in church on Sunday / mid-week service, schedule a time to refer to it during them every week. No point writing if the notes are just for decor.
Remembering has to be a Conscious, Consistent, Deliberate Effort. It doesn’t happen if you don’t make it happen.
God bless you as you never forget to Remember! His Grace is available.