As you read through both the Old Testament and the New Testament, you will find the writers repeatedly reminding their readers about what God has done for them. For example, I recently read through the book of Joshua.In chapters 23 and 24 he gives his final exhortation to the people and farewell address. It’s a long narrative, reminding the Israelites first of their history with God (chapter 23) and then of God’s faithfulness to the Israelites since the time of Abraham (chapter 24). At the conclusion of this long reminder, Joshua challenges the people for a commitment to “honor the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly.” (24:14) They agree. He ends the discussion with a visual aid: “As a reminder of their agreement, he [Joshua] took a huge stone and rolled it beneath the oak tree beside the Tabernacle of the LORD.” (24:25b)

Do you purposefully remind yourself of the things the Lord has done for you? Do you know enough of your family’s spiritual history that you are able to remind yourself of the things God has done in for your ancestors that has impact on your life? You can use these memories to encourage yourself, as Joshua encouraged the Israelites, and as opportunities to recommit yourself to loving and serving God. Like Joshua, you can create a visual that reminds you of the goodness of God and your commitment to Him.

I find these reminders especially helpful when I am tempted to be discouraged or to sin. I can remember what God has done in the past for me and it encourages me to trust Him with my present and my future. I can remember what He has done in the past and it encourages me to remain faithful to Him.

Let’s get practical – how could you do this? There are lots of ways to approach your “rememberings.”

  • Journaling is my favorite – when I am discouraged or otherwise out-of-sorts during my devotions, I often re-read entries from my journal. It’s always surprising to me how much I forget about my life and what I experienced in the past. Re-reading my journal reassures me that God met in those times and He will meet me again.
  • If you’re not much of a writer, you can still be a “list maker” – start a “God’s Blessings” list and develop the habit of daily or weekly adding to your list.
  • Are you a scrapbooker? Create a spiritual scrapbook. I would love to have a spiritual scrapbook, commemorating all the wonderful things God has done in my life, but it doesn’t work for me. Journaling works for me. Scrapbooking is too much like work for me, so it never happens.
  • Create a digital scrapbook – if you’re not into the cut and paste approach, create a digital scrapbook. Scan in photos or other images, add your “God’s Blessing” list to it and a few journal-like entries and you’ve got a wonderful memory aid.
  • Collect things that serve as visual reminders of God’s goodness. The Israelites were always collecting and piling up rocks to remind themselves of the things God had done for them. God says in Genesis 9 that He put the rainbow in the sky as a reminder to Himself of His covenant with the Israelites. Wow! Surely God doesn’t need a reminder, but it’s pretty cool that He made one anyway! I have a variety of paintings, knick-knacks, photos and other memorabilia around our house that remind me of God’s faithfulness to me. (I even have the screws & plates from when I shattered my elbow – they remind me of how God healed me well beyond any doctor’s expectation.)
  • Create traditions that remind you of God’s goodness. The holidays will be upon us soon. If you don’t already have a “God has been good to us” tradition in your family, start one. Perhaps your conversation around the Thanksgiving table will be about God’s goodness to your family. Perhaps a Christmas Eve family devotional will be extended to include a time of remembrance. (Add some Christmas cookies & milk to make it a celebration!)
  • Be purposeful in creating times of remembrance in your family. For example, I own a small business and at least once a year we have a full day prayer meeting that all employees are invited to. The first hour of that day is spent listing the blessings God has shown to our business and employees. Everyone participates as we write the blessings on a large poster-board. Do something like this with your family! Perhaps quarterly or as a part of birthday, anniversary or other life-event celebrations, gather the family together and list all the blessings that God has shown your family.

I have often asked people which characteristic of God means the most to them. Most people will say His love, and I sure can’t argue with that, but the characteristic I value the most is His faithfulness. I know I can always rely on Him. His Word promises it, but even more than that, the history I have with Him demonstrates it.

May I encourage you to do two things?

  1. The next time you find yourself spiraling toward discouragement, stop and play the “Do you remember…?” game with the Lord.
  2. Begin some personal and family traditions that remember God’s goodness to you and your family. Doing so will create a rich history that I am certain will not only impact you and your family in the present, but also well into the future. I am guessing that most of you didn’t have these kinds of activities in your childhood. Imagine the memories you would have if you had! Make it so for your children. And remember, it’s never too late to start, even if your children are grown and married.
2 Responses to “Do You Remember…?”
  1. Eugene says:

    Now everyone is talking about the American economy and eclections, nice to read something different. Eugene

  2. Dan Ghramm says:

    I wonder if my new blog can serve as this.

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