Read Psalm 42:1-11.
While some of us are more forgetful than others, none of us use our memory to its full potential. And sadly, a lot us forget the most important thing of all—namely, God and His past interventions in our lives. That's precisely why one of the most-used words in Scripture—both in the Old and New Testaments—is the word remember. Over and over again, throughout the Bible, God exhorts us, saying, "Remember!"
God wants us to remember because recalling His acts of redeeming grace generates hope for the future.
In the Old Testament, God warned the Israelites, "When you go into the Promised Land, when you prosper and live at peace, you're going to forget Me. Be careful to remember all that I've done for you!" (see Deuteronomy 4:1-14). And yet, that's precisely what they did.
In the New Testament, we see God's broken heart on display in the person of Jesus when, one day, He healed ten lepers, yet only one—a Samaritan—came back to thank and honor Him. The others were so quick to forget! "Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?'" (Luke 17:17-18).
Of course, God's people never forgot Him entirely. They thought of Yahweh whenever they got into trouble. When they didn't know what to do or where to go, then they went to Yahweh. Are we any different today? How quickly we forget God's answers to our prayers! And yet, when trouble comes, then we turn to the Lord and beg for His help.
The very reason God established the feasts and festivals of the Old Testament was so His people would remember His gracious acts throughout history. And Jesus established the Lord's Supper so we would have a permanent reminder of the colossal price He paid on the cross.
God wants us to remember because recalling His acts of redeeming grace generates hope for the future. Remembering deepens our love for the Lord. Focusing on our past blessings keeps us growing in our love for Jesus. The cure for our anxiety, our fear, our hopelessness, is to go back into our memory banks and remember all that God has done for us. God calls us to love Him with all our heart, all our mind, all our soul, and all our strength. This kind of love can only grow if we first remember the goodness of God.
Prayer: Father, forgive me for forgetting Your past mercies—Your blessings, Your faithfulness, Your love, Your sure promises. May I love You more and more as I remember Your goodness to me—how You have adopted me as Your child forever. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you . . ." (Psalm 42:6).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series Growing in Your Love for Jesus: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW