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November 24, 2022

Remembering God’s Goodness

A compilation

Audio length: 12:07
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“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.”—Psalm 103:1–41

While God will never forget or abandon us, at times we will feel forgotten. It’s not that God is distant; it’s just that sometimes He feels distant. It’s not that God is preoccupied; it’s just that our struggles make us feel like we’re facing the world alone. What is amazing is that we are given full permission to voice this honestly.

“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?” David lamented. “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day havesorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”2

We are allowed and invited to tell God how we really feel. This is the beauty of lament—unedited, unfiltered real talk that allows God to meet us right where we are. When we feel like we’ve been forgotten or left behind, we can express it openly. And then we can remind God of His promises to us. We can echo right back to Him the things He has said to us.

The idea of reminding God of something may sound strange—after all, He is God, and He doesn’t forget the things He has told us! But reminding God of the promises He has made helps us to remember them and reassures us that He can be trusted to keep them. …

Moses reminded the Israelites of God’s provision throughout forty years of wilderness wanderings, so they could hold on to hope in their present.3 Jesus told the disciples at the Last Supper, on the eve of His crucifixion, to practice remembering: “When He had given thanks, He broke [the bread] and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’”4

Remembering is an active tool to reignite our faith. As we wait on Him, He actively renews the strength necessary for us to persevere.5 What’s more, the practice of remembrance leads our hearts into thanksgiving for the past and hope for the future. …

This kind of reminding is not for God’s sake, but for our sake. It will help us to not forget our covenant-keeping God. It is so like God to invite us to remind Him of His promises when He knows that, in the end, we are the ones who benefit by doing so. When we remind Him, we remember Him for who He truly is. …

God’s promises are energizing; they give us courage, and courage helps us get moving to do what needs to be done. … Go ahead and remind God! And in doing so, may you be reminded of His love for you and be refreshed anew. He is your strength, even as you wait.—Esther Fleece Allen6

Reminding ourselves

One of people’s favorite characteristics of the Psalms is the raw honesty. In it you can find the highs and lows of human emotions to match however you are feeling. What I love about these writings is how the Psalmist allows his feelings to draw him to God and never away.

Psalm 13 was the place this first stood out to me. When you read the first four verses, you see David bemoaning his situation. “How long, LORD? Did you hide from me? Have you forgotten me? Don’t you care that my enemy is beating me?” You quickly feel David’s honest approach to God. He had no problem getting in touch with his feelings.

Then in my Bible, I have to turn the page to get to the next two verses. “But I trust you. My heart is happy with you. I will sing, for you are good to me.”

The first time I read this, I had to check to make sure I did not skip a page. What happened? Where did this sudden change come from? Did God answer? Was everything better? It seems that nothing changed, except David chose to trust God instead of his situation. Sure I feel [lousy], but I know that God is good.

So often this is what we need to do. We need to choose that God is good over all our circumstances, so we can rejoice in His goodness even when things seem bad. There is a line in the song “Love Comes Down” by Brian Johnson, which says, “I sing out to remind my soul. I am Yours.”…

We need to remind ourselves that God is trustworthy, that He is good, that He is exactly what we need. Review the goodness of God in your life. Don’t forget. God is good.—Kevin Shorter7

Thanksgiving thoughts

Thanksgiving is primarily a North American holiday, celebrated in the U.S. in November and Canada in October, but it would be nice if the whole world would designate a day to reflect on and thank God for His goodness. Our Creator has bestowed so many gifts on humankind. He gave us the gift of life and a marvel-filled world to spend it in, replete with an endless variety of beauty and beautiful experiences. As the Bible says, God has made everything beautiful for its own time and purpose.8

He has given us the love of family and friends, and every joy that we experience. Not only has He given us the gift of life as we know it, but He has promised that our souls will outlive this earthly existence. He offers us a future in eternity through His Son, Jesus Christ.

The Bible says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God,” and we are invited to enter into God’s presence with praise and thanksgiving.9 When you stop to think about all that God has given you, doesn’t it make you want to express your gratitude?

But you may wonder how you should thank Him. You may not know how to put your thanks into words, or maybe you feel your words aren’t eloquent enough. Take heart. God isn’t looking for carefully crafted or perfectly articulated expressions of gratitude. He delights in hearing heartfelt thanks, with words that may be many or few, lofty or simple, flowing or halting. God sees the praise in your heart and translates it into poetry set to beautiful melodies.—Maria Fontaine

Starting prayer with remembrance

“I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.”—Psalm 9:1 

I often find myself being one who begins prayer with the groanings of my heart rather than praise. This has recently really troubled me. We can see in Matthew 15 that “out of the mouth speaks the fruit of the heart.” This stirred up a conviction in me that the words most often leaving my lips as the day begins and closes aren’t praise. My heart isn’t overflowing with thankfulness, but rather overflowing with requests.

I’ve always loved Psalm 9. It’s a beautiful part of Scripture and one that sets my heart in the right posture. It begins right away with the reminder to give thanks and recount all of God’s wonderful deeds. …

This is something so vital to our walk with the Lord. We should desire to praise our mighty God! The one who is all-knowing, most powerful, and everlasting. He’s moved mountains, made ways, and met us in the darkest valleys of our days. The one who has led every generation of believers to grow in affection of Him.

I’ve begun to make it a point of thanking God for who He is and for what He’s already done, before asking Him to do more for me. I want to praise Him for all the wonderful deeds He’s unfolded in my life. I don’t want to forget what He’s done for me.

You and I both know that our Heavenly Father knows our hearts. He knows our desires, needs, requests, and hardships. But when we begin prayer with a point of praise from our hearts, we are in a posture to see just how big God is. This was the reminder I needed. God is God. I am not. God is not there just to be asked things. God desires us to have a personal relationship with Him. A relationship that acknowledges He is sufficient, and I am not. He is perfect, I am not. Lastly, one that understands He loved me before I loved Him.

This is good news for you and me. That God loves us so much that He stirs up the conviction in our hearts to remember how good He is. To remember how much He loves us, how much He has done for us, and that He sent His one and only son to pay the ultimate price for our eternal reward.—Chelsey DeMatties10

A praise for the day

Lord, I lift my heart, mind, and spirit to You in prayer, praise, and thanksgiving. You are the giver of all good things, and You are all good things to me.

You are my Creator, my Father, the source of life and strength. You cause the sun to rise, the light to shine, the night to come. You hold me in Your arms. You console me in my sadness. You warm me with Your love. You shield me and protect me and provide for me.

All peace, contentment, and blessings come from Your hand. I praise and honor and thank You. Amen.

Published on Anchor November 2022. Read by Carol Andrews.
Music by John Listen.