Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Don’t Forget to Remember

Wednesday, August 2, 2023 Some material taken from Forty-five Minutes at Sixty-three Feet by John Strappazon

I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:12

Trouble comes into every life. We know that, but what can we do when trouble comes? This past Sunday, John Strappazon gave us some good steps to follow when we are overwhelmed with life’s trials. Yesterday we discussed the first two steps we take when trouble comes: Turn to God and Grab Perspective. Today we will discuss the third step - Engage your memory.

Don’t Forget to Remember

If you are like me, when trouble comes, I have a hard time remembering what is good in my life. I can be so consumed by what is presently causing me difficulty that I don’t even think about what has gone before. In fact, not too long ago, even in the midst of a time when I should have been rejoicing, someone said to me “God has been good to you.” It was a wakeup call for me and it made me stop and think, “He has been good to me!” 

Trouble is like a big sticker stuck in your foot – or a thorn in your flesh if you will. Regardless of whatever else is happening in our lives, we cannot think about anything but our throbbing foot. One thing for sure - Satan does not want us to remember any of the good things that God has done for us. He wants us to stay in despair and oppression. He wants us to feel defeated and give up. He wants us to believe that God is not big enough to handle our trouble. He wants us to believe we cannot trust Him.

When trouble comes, remembering what God has done has so many advantages for us:

·  Remembering helps us refocus - We forget in the heat of the battle that God is for us. When everything is caving in it feels like He has abandoned us, but remembering all He has done helps us remember the truth about Him and His love for us. It helps us refocus on Him.

·  Remembering prompts God awareness - When we remember, we are focusing on God and His power and provision. It keeps Him on our minds and in the forefront of everything else.  

·  Remembering reminds us that God is not ever surprised by our troubles - Nothing ever takes God by surprise. When we think back to our past troubles and reflect on how things worked our for our good and His glory, we can see the path of His plan in our lives through that time. 

·  Remembering drives:

Gratefulness - We are grateful for His goodness and faithfulness.
Confidence - We can trust that God is not done. He has a plan for our troubled times.
Courage - We find courage to face our trouble in faith. 
Encouragement - We can be encouraged by the truth that He is with us - He is ever-present.
Hope – I have eternal hope that surpasses anything that can happen in earthly circumstances. 
Love – We remember His faithfulness and it builds our love for Him. We remember His love 
for us. 

Remembering reminds me that I am not alone in my troubled times. I can cry out to Him and know that He is there, and He hears me. I can focus on Him and what I know to be true about Him, rejecting what my emotions may be telling me at that moment. If I let it, trouble will always bring me closer to God because I will cling to Him and I will remember that all my hope is in Him alone. There is no hope in my circumstances and based on history, God has a way better track record of faithfulness than even the most trusted people in my life. I know because of His past faithfulness that His hand is still on my life, even when things feel bad, seem hopeless, and out of control. Remembering this helps me have peace in my heart no matter what.  

It is natural for us to not remember the good things God has done when everything feels so bad. But remembering is so important. When we can remember how good God is and how faithful He is, we can refocus our perspective, think about the blessings and promises He has fulfilled, and trust in a never failing God.

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