As many of you know, we have been going through 2 Timothy on Sunday mornings. In 2:8-13, we discussed the importance of remembering the gospel…especially if we are experiencing suffering, or some other pain or problem. In fact, throughout Scripture, we read about the significance and importance of remembering what God has done. We are to remember so that we never forget. And remembering is often a conscious, intentional decision.
In the Old Testament, God directed His people to remember His great acts:
- The Passover. God instituted the Passover rite to help His people remember His act of delivering them from the bondage of Egypt (and being passed over by the angel of death)
- The Law. After God had given the Ten Commandments to the Israelites, He instructed them to “teach them diligently to your children” (Deuteronomy 6:7ff.).
- Crossing the Jordan. When God’s people crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, God commanded the priests to take twelve stones from the river and pile them in Gilgal in the Promised Land. In essence, they were to erect a stone of remembrance…that they would never forget God’s intervention.
In the New Testament, we are also told to remember:
- The Gospel. (2 Timothy 2:8-9)
- Jesus’ Sacrificial Death. When we observe the Lord’s Supper, we do this in “remembrance” of Jesus and His giving of His body and blood for us.
Why does God direct us to remember?
Because when life gets busy, we don’t take the time to remember. We just simply get too busy with life to take the time to reflect on God’s work in our lives.
Because when life gets brutal, we tend to forget God’s faithfulness, provision, and care that He’s shown in the past. We can easily get so bogged down in the stuff of life that we tend to forget what God has already done in our lives. We can become so discouraged and overwhelmed that we forget God’s faithfulness in the past, and therefore, become fretful about the future.
How can we remember?
Reflect in the present. One way to do this is through journaling. Or perhaps simply take the time at the end of each day to reflect on what God has done that day.
Remember the past. Go back and list the times where God has shown up big in your life. Put that list (and continue to add to it!) in your Bible, or in some other special place. How awesome it would be then to share that with your children or grandchildren.
To help you develop this list, think through the following things:
- Answers to prayers
- Major life events (marriage, birth of a child or grandchild, death of a loved one, an illness, etc.)
- Spiritual milestones (salvation; a calling; a crisis of belief; a Bible study God used; a mission trip or other experience; etc.)
- How God used you (think back to the times when you remembered experiencing God using you in someone else’s life)
- Blessings (remember how God has blessed you)
Church, let me encourage you to remember what God has done in the past, so you will trust Him for your future. Make that intentional choice to remember. One last thing…check out this song from Steven Curtis Chapman about remembering. I think you’ll enjoy it.