Offer Them Christ
The Weblog Of J.F. Howard

Grace Forgotten And Remembered

Grace Forgotten And Remembered

Psalm 105:1-6

1 Give thanks to the Lord;

call upon his name;

make his deeds known to all people!

2 Sing to God;

sing praises to the Lord;

dwell on all his wondrous works!

3 Give praise to God’s holy name!

Let the hearts rejoice of all those seeking the Lord!

4 Pursue the Lord and his strength;

seek his face always!

5 Remember the wondrous works he has done,

all his marvelous works, and the justice he declared—

6     you who are the offspring of Abraham, his servant,

and the children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

I am now at the age when I have to write something down if I want to remember it. My life is a collection of calendars, reminders, to-do lists, and sticky notes. It is what now passes for my memory.

In 1989, I started the practice of journaling and kept it up faithfully for a number of years. Today I have a large collection of notebooks and 3-ring binders with years worth of thoughts, prayers, daily highlights, and devotional writings, capturing a large swath of my adult life.

About a year ago I stopped journaling. To be honest, I let some outside circumstances and disappointing situations in my life cause a period of spiritual dryness and emptiness. I continued to read the Bible and pray, but I let my practice of journaling fall into disuse.

Believe it or not, a year later, things were even worse for me. The “outside circumstances and disappointing situations” of the previous year had festered into full-fledged spiritual darkness. Energy that could have been spent in the presence of God was invested in combatting the attacks of the enemy. This time, one year later, I reached for my neglected journal to begin the process of renewing and rebuilding my depleted spiritual reserves.

What I discovered was a treasure trove of forgotten grace!

The first thing I discovered that I had forgotten many of the ways God had worked graciously in my life. Thankfully, I had recorded them down in my journal.

The second thing I discovered is the redeeming power of remembering. As I re-read some on my previous journal entries I was reminded of God’s faithful presence in every aspect of my life, from the mundane to the momentous.

I started to write again in my journal with a newfound sense of purpose. I filled page after page with insights from Bible reading, and spiritual guidance for my still challenging situations.

In Psalm 105, the Bible teaches us the importance of remembering the grace of God at work in our lives.

Humans are by nature, forgetful creatures.

In verses 5-6 the Scriptures record:

5 Remember the wondrous works he has done,

   all his marvelous works, and the justice he declared—

6     you who are the offspring of Abraham, his servant,

       and the children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

As I read back over journal entries from a year before, I began to remember the “wondrous works” that God had done in my life. Jotting them down in my journal meant that they were there for me to recall at any time I desired.

The process of remembering grace had a twofold effect on me.

One was that it renewed my faith to remember what God had done for me in the past.

The second effect was that it drew me into a place of praise and gratitude that caused me to experience God’s grace in a new light. The past experiences came to life again for me in the present.

In Psalm 105, we see the Scriptures encouraging God’s people to “give thanks, give praise, seek God, and declare God’s wonders.” Before they could give thanks, praise and declare God’s wonders, they first needed to remember what God had done.

Grace recalled becomes grace renewed.

I needed to be reminded of that today!

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