“Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified”.
Isaiah chapter 43, verse 26
It is in our human nature to forget.
How swiftly we forget the kindness and mercies of the Lord of yesteryear and move on to the most recent discomfort, need, or pain. Failing to call to mind the answered prayer of another period, (or minimizing after having received it); we frequently find ourselves living from request to request, grumble to grumble, living in a perpetual state of “Yes, but”.
We justify our ingratitude by the existence of our present trial, loss, or disappointment. That ingratitude left unchecked, becomes offense (offense at others, and God), which if left unchecked becomes bitterness - which if left unchecked becomes unbelief.
The Lord instructs us to put Him in remembrance. Why? He hasn’t forgotten anything, He can’t. But we do.
Remember His faithfulness
The act of bringing to remembrance is for our benefit- not the Lord’s. In the same way the priests of old were sustained by the very sacrifices they offered to the Lord in worship; we are sustained by our gratitude.
And so, we continually offer to the Lord a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips giving thanks (Hebrews chapter 13, verse 15), on the foundation of the same biblical principle: - the sacrifice offered by the priests, is what they eat.
Our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, as new covenant priests, sustains our hearts in the midst (not absence) of sorrow, pain, betrayal, and lack. We need to give thanks – just as much as we need food.
Therefore, we must remember.
Call to mind, the faithfulness of Jesus. Your Lord has not abandoned you, even though it might feel like it right now. Your Father is closer than your very breath, and remains a very present help in times of trouble- underneath you are His everlasting arms…holding you.
Remember His promises
O’ we are indeed promised pain, trouble, grief and suffering on this side of eternity – but we do not belong to those who suffer in vain, or grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians chapter 4, verses 13-18).
Rather, our hearts are strengthened by the knowledge that our Lord has overcome this world. (John chapter 16, verse 33) We are thus encouraged by the fact that this present wicked and broken age is coming to an end; and can give thanks in all circumstances, resting in the assurance that our Father is leading us, and history well.
Yea, though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we have eyes to see that it is only a shadow, and we do not walk it alone. In wilderness seasons, disciples of Jesus learn to lean on their Lord. It is in this time that we discover the comfort to be found in His rod and staff- and are steadied by His steadfastness (Psalm chapter 23).
O’! What joy, what comfort His nearness brings. What peace His loving gaze provides. When I mine Bridegroom, lean upon, and learn I am His Bride.
The promise, phrased as a question, in the Song of Songs is ours to take!
“Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning on their Beloved?” (Song of Songs chapter 8, verse 5)
It’s you! It is you!
You’re the one leaning on your Beloved. You are the one, whom having sown in tears will reap in shouts of joy bringing in the sheaves (Psalm chapter 126, verses 5-6).
You are the one who will cultivate the precious oil of intimacy with your Lord and God, through the crushing and pressing of this and other trials. You will make it to the end in strength perfected in weakness. The Lord will carry you. Hold on to this promise - He will bring you to the end in strength (2 Corinthians chapter 12, verses 8-10).
And having arrived at the end you will see- it will all have been worth it. Because Jesus…He is worthy.
Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has the mind conceived the things God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians chapter 2, verse 9).
The way of the cross
We are journeying the way of the cross, following the bloodied footsteps of our Lord. Step by painful step, we press ahead, going lower and lower still, adopting the humility of Christ, who, condescending Himself to a creation otherwise lost; became like us, died our death, and in the process defeated death itself (Philippians chapter 2, verses 5-8). So too we in humility die to ourselves daily - looking intently at the joy set before us - God Himself; and so, triumph.
Therefore, we remember His promises. The most precious of which is called in scripture the blessed hope which anchors our souls: that our Lord is coming again soon, and we shall be with Him, and we shall be like Him forever.
Our blessed hope, the resurrection of the dead and the restoration of all things. We live in the light of eternity, yearning for the age to come, the redemption of our bodies, and this broken world. We remember the Maranatha song, and commit it to memory, saying with every laboured breath and sigh, “Come Lord Jesus”.
We give thanks in it all, for it is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us. We remember, and are filled with hope and joy - and we receive fresh grace to persevere to the end.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
1 Thessalonians chapter 5, verses 16-18
Francesca Tavares (West Indies) is a daughter, sister, friend, avid reader, attorney-at-law, and porridge connoisseur. She enjoys Jesus and fulfilling His purposes for her life on Earth.