“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Ps. 103:2, NKJV).
“Forget not…” Why is this here? Precisely because we are prone to forget. Are you with me on this one? We have experienced for our very own selves His breathtaking faithfulness… and then another big trial comes up in our lives. And we promptly forget how He carried us through the last one.
I knew a lady whom God healed instantly, completely, and miraculously from the advanced stages of cancer. She had cried out to Him. He had answered in a way that dramatically demonstrated His love for her. Heartbreakingly, today, she has returned to a worldly lifestyle, not serving Jesus at all. She forgot. How tragic!
And yet, there is a bit of that in all of us. The Israelites were an apt mirror of the fragility of our human memory:
“He saved them from the hand of him who hated them,
And redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
The waters covered their enemies;
There was not one of them left.
Then they believed His words;
They sang His praise.
They soon forgot His works;
They did not wait for His counsel”
(Ps. 106:10-13, NKJV).
Isn’t it kind of amazing how the phrase, “They sang His praise” is immediately followed by “They soon forgot His works”?
It really is easy to do this. The stunning news is, however, that there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus. Instead, there is a loving, gentle reminder to intentionally… remember. God has given us the power to direct our own thoughts. Intentionally focusing them on His past faithfulness to us is an absolutely essential lifestyle choice for us.
“But this I call to mind; therefore I have hope” (Lam. 3:21, ESV).
Call it to mind. Looking at the original language, the Hebrew verb here is delightful. To call is to “cause to return.” To call to mind is literally to make that thought come back into your focus. Today, on purpose, let’s cause the memories of Daddy’s perfect provision to return to the center screen of our imagination. Let’s remember them. Let’s meditate on them. Let’s drink them in and thank Him once again for how He took care of you and me so beautifully.
“For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10, ESV). What is the testimony of Jesus? It’s absolutely everything that He can testify of. This includes the way He has carried you through past heartaches into present victory and healing. Every triumph of yours is His testimony! What, then, is the spirit of prophecy? When you remember and repeat testimonies of Jesus’ goodness – including your own stories of how He came through for you – this is the spirit of prophecy. It prophesies that same faithfulness and goodness into your future.
What will be the result? “Therefore I have hope.” Exercising our memory muscles on purpose brings hope to life within us. As we review Jesus’ faithfulness and speak it over our future, hope bubbles up inside. We are convinced that we will once again see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
And so we sing, along with Jeremiah, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him”’ (Lam. 3:22-24, ESV).
Do you have any personal strategies for regularly bringing to mind your own stories of Jesus’ faithfulness? What works best for you to help you “forget not”?