Remembering God

Earlier this year, I blogged through the devotional 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs. Remember? I took each devotion and wrote about how it impacted me–hot mess and all. In the process, I learned about bravery and how being brave has impacted my life even when I haven’t felt brave. I also figured out that being brave didn’t necessarily look like what I thought it looked like. During this time, Ms. Downs became a favorite author. God used her words to touch my life. Why am I bringing this up now? She has a new book coming out tomorrow entitled Remember God which I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing. I know God will use her words to impact my life just as He used her words from her previous book. In the meantime, I wanted to share what remembering God looked like for me.

When I typed “remembering God” and “remember God” into the You Version search engine, it came back with many results like I expected. Scripture does a good job of showing where God calls us to remember Him and where humans call on God to remember them. It’s like a lot of things in life. Sometimes, we forget about God’s goodness and need to be reminded. God doesn’t forget though, and I think that might be why we are called on so often in Scripture to remember Him. Here are some examples. From Psalm 78:35, “They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer.” God spoke of remembering Israel in Leviticus 26:42. “I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.” The thief on the cross asked Jesus to remember him. Luke 23:42 says, “Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.'”

There are also many instances in Scripture where people asked God to remember them or thanked God for remembering other believers. Nehemiah 5:19 says, “Remember me with favor, my God, for all I have done for these people.” Also, in Thessalonians 1:3, “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” I especially like Ephesians 1:15-16 because I’ve personally used these verses to tell people I’m thankful for them. “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”

With all the references to remembering in Scripture, why do we forget God and all He has done for us? I’m not sure, but I think one of the reasons might be because of the fall. Satan doesn’t want us to remember what God has done for us because his job at getting us to believe his lies would be more difficult, and he wants things to be as easy as possible. Doesn’t evil usually work that way?

I also think we let the busyness of our days crowd God out. God is waiting for us to remember, to want to talk to Him, to have a relationship with Him, and sometimes, we just forget He is there.

Finally, we have mistaken impressions of how we need to be when we approach God. Everything needs to be perfect, and we think we need to display the Christian joy everyone keeps talking about. No sadness, and no pain allowed. But, God wants us to come to Him as we are. He wants us to remember Him as we are so He can work in our lives and in our hearts. Then, we can share about His love with a world who desperately needs it.

As I end this post, I want to remind all of us how important it is to remember God and how He is a part of our stories. And, we don’t need to just remember Him. We need to share our stories and how God is important in each of them. Your story might not seem important in the grand scheme of things, but it is just as necessary to God and His Kingdom as those stories that have a larger reach. Thankful for the chance to share my stories in this space!

Praying God’s blessings on you all today!

Endurance

There are two parts to this word. Per Wikipedia here is the definition.

“Endurance is the ability of an organism to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time, as well as its ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue. Endurance may also refer to an ability to keep going through a tough situation involving hardship, stress, etc.”

I am referring more to the second part of the definition than the first though the first will come into play. There are people who come into this world with raw talent. They advance through school quickly and do especially well with the talents God has blessed them with. But, sometimes raw talent is not enough. If things have always come easily for them, there would seem to be no reason to have to work at their talent, to keep going when things aren’t going so well.

This is where endurance comes in. With me, endurance comes into play with all facets of my life, my writing as well as my faith. I read this quote by author James Baldwin earlier. 

“Beyond talent lies all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but, most of all endurance.”

I find this to be very true. If I’m not willing to keep going when the times are bad, I will not be ready for the good times. My main goal for my writing is to touch lives. Whether that means I get published in some form or fashion or just touch lives through this blog, I need to be willing to keep going even when it seems like I’m not touching anyone. 

I find this to be even more true with my faith. There are so many verses in the Bible about endurance that are an encouragement to me. Here is one example from I Chronicles 16:34.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

Another one is 2 Timothy 4:7.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

This particular verse represents the first part of the definition of endurance to me. Not only will we be blessed by God if we can emotionally endure, we are blessed with good health if we physically endure our exercise. So, here’s to enduring even when we don’t want to.

Hope everyone has a great day!