What God Remembers That We Forget
Memory is a funny thing… sometimes. We laugh at our forgetfulness. But when it comes to God, there are things we tend to forget that God will always remember. It’s a good thing for us to remember too. But for us to remember, we have to work at it. Here are 4 things we tend to forget (but God remembers) and it would be a good idea for us to remember too.
#1 - We forget that OUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED.
“God knows how we are formed. He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14
We get reminders about the truth of this every now and then. Maybe we attend a funeral of a loved one. Maybe we hear a sermon at church. Maybe a song or story or movie really touches our emotional center. But most of our lives we live as if we were the eternal ones and it is easy to forget the real Eternal One.
Speaking of the Eternal One, He knows! The Bible tells us that He knows how we are formed. He remembers that we are dust. We started out as dust. We return to dust. Let’s remember that He literally created mankind from the dust of the earth in the beginning!
Forgetting that our days are numbered is a real problem for us. This forgetting causes us to waste our lives and to miss opportunities. We waste precious moments with loved ones because we chose to binge on Netflix instead. We miss opportunities to do real good in this world, to be the hands and feet of Jesus, because we feel like there is always tomorrow. How do we NOT FORGET? Ask God for a reminder!
“LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered - how fleeting my life is.” Psalm 39:4
This is why a daily devotional time is so important. We need to be reminded. Personally I begin each day in God’s Word using the Bible app to hear the verse of the day explained by someone in the English speaking Christian community. This is precious time for me each morning, because it is a reminder time. It reminds me each morning that this day is the only one like it I will ever have. Once this day is exhausted I’ll never have today’s opportunities again. How are YOU reminded?
#2 - We forget what GOD HAS DONE FOR US.
“Be careful that you don’t forget the LORD, who brought you out of slavery in Egypt.” Deuteronomy 6:12
This is an easy thing to forget too. We’ve all been there, when our backs were up against the wall. The reason we all identify with the Israelites is when we think about it, we can recall when our enemies were before us and our backs were up against the Red Sea. We all know that there have been times when we cried out to God for His help, and He came through… and then we just went about our lives as if nothing happened. We forget that God has been faithful. We must remember those times!
“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.” Psalm 77:11
How do you remember things you don’t want to forget? Sometimes we have to write it down. I make lists all the time. We even have reminder apps on our phones now. Why not make a category for all the times when God has answered my prayer? How do you think that might increase my faith the next time I’m desperate for God in my life?
Sometimes we wear jewelry to remind us. I wear a wedding band on my left ring finger. I never take it off. It has so indented my finger that even if I did take it off, the wedding “band” would still be imprinted in my flesh. This ring reminds me I am always wed to Mary Kay, even if I don’t FEEL like it or am angry or tired. I’m still married.
Sometimes we make a mark on ourselves - a tattoo. Sometimes we write a note and place it on our mirror. Something you see every day that reminds you of how God has always come through for you. In the Old Testament days, people placed marks on the doorways of their homes or wore tassels on their hats or cut their hair (or didn’t cut their hair) in a particular way so they would always remember. What do you need to do to never forget what God has done for you?
#3 - We forget what GOD’S WORD PROMISES US.
“Do not forget the covenant I have made with you.” 2 Kings 17:38
There are 7,147 promises from God to man in the Bible. It’s actually hard to read any section of Scripture for any length of time without coming across a promise that God makes to us. We learn that (1) God’s promises never fail. (2) God is always good. (3) God is always with me. (4) God is faithful. (5) God is kind and compassionate. (6) God designed me and you for a purpose. (7) God loves me deeply no matter what. (8) God gives me power for my life. (9) God’s presence brings me joy. (10) God will fill me to overflowing with hope. (11) God will strengthen and help me. (12) God will give me wisdom. (13) God promises me an abundant life. (14) God has a plan for my life. (15) God can be trusted.
Don’t you think your life would be dramatically and radically changed if you were reminded of these promises each and every day. But we need reminding. Otherwise we forget. And we are poorer for it.
“For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
God’s Word is His voice and His promise for us each and every day. This book is more than a book. It’s alive! It’s active! It penetrates our hard headedness and our hard heartedness. This Bible speaks to us if we will read it. If we will listen.
But we are often too busy. We just don’t have the time. The truth is that there is likely nothing else that we will do in this day that is more important than the time we spend with God in God’s Word. As a pastor I hear people tell me all the time that they just don’t hear from God. Do you know that’s really easy to solve! If you want to hear from God, just open up the Bible and read! If you want to hear God speak to you audibly, read out loud! It may be your voice, but it’s God’s words!
#4 - We forget that GOD IS ALWAYS WITH US.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
This one is so easy to forget. We go by our feelings and much of the time we FEEL alone. We FEEL discouraged. We FEEL defeated. We FEEL afraid and overwhelmed. This is just one of the reasons why we call Christianity a “faith” and not a “feeling.” It’s also one of the reasons why the disciplines we’ve talked about already are so important. If you are not spending daily quiet time alone with God in prayer and in His Word, it’s easy to forget that God is always with us. Six different times in the Bible:
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5, Deut. 31:6
Have you ever wondered why God repeats Himself in His Word? Surely if God says something even just one time, that is enough, right? Yet 5 times in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament He repeats these 8 important words: “I will never leave you nor forsake you!” If God repeats Himself, it’s not because He is likely to forget. It’s for our benefit! We are the ones who need to remember. No matter what we are facing, we never face it alone. God is always with us!
Conclusion - Nothing we have talked about today should be news to anyone here. We’ve talked about them all before. However, it’s good to be reminded! What do you need to have as a reminder this morning? Are you taking your life for granted? Do you need to make each day more precious? Do you need to be reminded that your days are numbered? Or maybe you need some faith reminders today. Do you need to think about all the answers to prayer God has already granted? Do you remember His faithfulness to you? Do you know His promises to you? Do you know that God is always with you? Let’s take this moment to allow God’s Holy Spirit to remind each of us of what we need to hear this morning.