Read Psalm 78.
The Scriptures are clear that we are to remember the works that the Lord has done. To call to mind who He is, what He has promised, and the things He has done is a spiritual discipline that is sure to fertilize our faith and grow our confidence and trust in the dry and weary seasons that we will all inevitably face. When we remember what God has done in the past, we can have trust with confidence in what he will do both now and in the future. Psalm 78 elaborates on this idea, teaching us that the act of remembering.
not only stirs our own faith, but the faith of others as well.
By remembering out loud, we have the power to encourage the hearts and ignite the faith of the generations behind us. In verses 5-8, God depicts a kind of domino effect: when we proclaim what the Lord has done, even generations twice and three times removed might set their hope in Him.
What an awesome privilege we have been invited into!
The author of Psalm 78 calls to mind the mighty acts of God. He reminds his readers of God’s steadfast faithfulness to the Israelites. He parted the Red Sea. He led them by day with a pillar of cloud, and with a pillar of fire by night so they could see. In a parched and desolate land, He miraculously provided food and drink when there was otherwise none to be found. On and on the author goes, calling to mind the miraculous wonders of God. And yet, in verse 42 a spiritual diagnosis is given. The Israelites failed to remember God’s power.
They were so focused on their current hardship, that they forgot to call to mind all of the mighty ways that God had saved them. Despite all of the incredible works they had seen, the Israelites doubted God. In the midst of their current circumstances, they lacked faith and grumbled and complained against Him. And though God’s heart was grieved and His anger kindled, though He lovingly disciplined them for their unbelief, He remained faithful to them. He compassionately provided for them time and time and time again. He gently led His people, destroyed their enemies, and guided them into safety.
Psalm 78 describes a God who perseveres with His people, even when they are undeserving. It shows a God who is faithful, even when His people are faithless. Above all, it challenges us to call to mind what God has done, for in doing so generations will be saved. The bible is clear that we should remember and rejoice in God’s saving power throughout history; the mighty ways He acted on behalf of the great forefathers of our faith. I believe we should know God’s word and call to mind His faithfulness of old. But this passage also challenges me to reflect on God’s personal faithfulness to me as an individual. How have I seen God’s tender care and saving power displayed in my own life? In what ways can I declare His works to the coming generation?
Below are some questions that I have found helpful as I learn to articulate and personalize my faith to those around me. I pray that they will be helpful to you as you remember all that the Lord has done in your life and seek to share His faithfulness with those around you.
- What biblical accounts of God’s saving power stir your heart and encourage your faith? What do these stories reveal to you about humanity? What do they reveal to you about yourself? What do they reveal to you about God?
- What have you seen God do in your own life? When has He shown His power, guided you in a clear way, answered a prayer or fulfilled a promise? Reflect on your faith journey and practice writing out your testimony for a fresh reminder of God’s work in your life.
- Is there anything that came to mind that you had forgotten about? Reflect on those times and thank the Lord for those specific things.
- Think about times you have doubted God, lacked faith, and grumbled and complained against Him. Describe God’s faithfulness to you despite your faithlessness.
- Call to mind seasons of discipline. The bible is clear that God disciplines His children because He loves them. How has God used those times of fatherly love, guidance, and correction to sanctify and deepen your faith?
- Reflect on God’s compassion and gentleness towards you. How have you seen His mercy displayed in your own life? Describe times that He has protected and saved you from yourself.
- What stones of remembrance or traditions can you put in place to mark significant moments in your faith journey?
- Who in your life can you share this with? Ask God to bring someone to mind that you can share these things with. Ask for open doors, opportunities to share, and the boldness to tell of His works.
Over and over the Scriptures tell us to remember the things He has done, which leads me to believe that God is also pointing out our struggle to so quickly forget. It’s not just the Israelites who were so quick to forget the things God had done. It’s you. And it’s me.
In seasons of hurt or unknown or anxiety, it is difficult for me to reflect on God’s works. It is easier to look at my circumstances and to fall into hopelessness and despair. It takes work and time and energy and discipline to think and remember. It does not always come easy, but it does come with a promise:
in our public remembrance, others may be saved.
I am praying that the people of Christ City would remember and proclaim God in such a way that those around us can no longer ignore Him.
-- Courtney Hofmann