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In the business of my day, I can easily get distracted, and even sidetracked from remembering that one of many things I need to do that day. (Thank God for my phone's reminders!) Maybe you can relate.
Though we may go to great lengths to remember something important, like a special day, event, appointment, or To Do Item, Psalm 106 tells us the one thing we should never forget: the multitude of God’s mercies. When the Israelites found themselves cornered at the Red Sea by Pharaoh’s army, on their exodus fromf Egypt, Psalm 106:7 tragically notes they did not remember the multitude of God’s mercies. (Psalm 106:7)
Consider when God's people were slaves in Egypt. After being slaves in Egypt for more than 400 years, the Lord puts pressure on Pharaoh, to let His people go, though a series of plagues. Despite the horrible plagues that afflicted every Egyptian (not just Pharaoh), Pharaoh stubbornly refuses to let God’s people go—until finally, finally, after the death of all the firstborn Egyptian children, Pharaoh bitterly sends the Israelites away to start a new life, free from slavery. (Exodus 12:31-32)
During the plagues in Egypt, the Israelites experienced the multitude of God’s mercies as He made a clear distinction between them and the Egyptians. (Exodus 9:4) While the Egyptians livestock were dying left and right, during the plague of livestock, not one animal belonging to the Israelites died. (Exodus 9:4-6) When the Lord sent the plague of hail on Egypt, “Throughout Egypt hail struck everything in the fields—both men and animals; it beat down everything growing in the fields and stripped every tree. The only place it did not hail was the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were.” (Exodus 9:25-26) Oh how God loves His children!
Despite these great mercies, and so many others, when the Israelites saw Pharaoh’s army charging towards them, at the Red Sea, with no where for them to escape, instead of remembering the multitude of God’s mercies, confidently trusting that God would somehow, someway deliver them from the Egyptians, the Israelites panicked. (Exodus 14:10-12) Spurgeon described their panic for what it was: "“doubting God’s power to deliver, and questioning his faithfulness to his promise.”1 Ouch! If I'm honest with myself, every time I say "Oh, no! Now what am I going to do?" I am guilty of doing the same thing.
To remember the multitude of God’s mercies, I must make the same effort to remember as I do to remember anything else important that I don't want to forget. For me that means writing examples of God's goodness to me an others in my faithfulness journal--and be diligent to capture the multitude of His mercies on paper while an example is still fresh in my memory. When trials come up we will be so distracted by our difficult circumstances and, like the Israelites, we will soon forget the good works of God in our life (Psalm 106:13)--failing to remember the multitude of God’s mercies, unless we make the effort to do whatever it takes to not forget.
Despite how our circumstances appear, we can rest in the promise of Jeremiah 29:11, in which God promises us, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” With this in mind, our trials will feel like less of a trial when we remember the multitude of His mercies. Why? Because we will remember the good works the Lord has worked in our life and know that if God worked all those blessings in our life up to now, He certainly will continue to lavish His mercies on us and somehow, someway work our discouraging circumstances to good. (Romans 8:28)
So how can we best remember the multitude of His mercies so we do not soon forget His Works or worse yet, when trials come, doubt God’s power to deliver us and question His faithfulness in keeping His promises? For me, it is keeping a Faithfulness Journal because every day God blesses me in some way whether it is an answered prayer, a provision, or deliverance. If the Lord is leading you to start one, here is how you can do it.
Each night I simply write the date and note the good thing(s) the Lord did in my life that day. Before my four-year-old girl says her bedtime prayers with me, I encourage her to think back on the blessings of our day and thank God as she prays. By the time we are finished praying, we are both so encouraged and reminded of God's incredible goodness.
Why keep a Faithfulness Journal? When discouraging times come, you’ll have a storehouse of your own personal examples of God’s goodness and faithfulness in your life. By writing them down, you can read them over and over to encourage you as you go through various trials. Additionally, this is a great way to obey God’s Word to “forget not all His benefits.” (Psalm 103:2) As you daily record God’s goodness to you, you'll find that trials will not "pack the same punch" they did before because you will now be facing them with an arsenal of testimonies to God’s greatness in your life. Priceless! Not only will a journal like this infuse you with hope in your trials, but what a legacy for your children, and an encouragement to them in their own trials.
If you are crafty, you could create a Faithfulness Scrapbook. In addition to journal entries of God's faithfulness, you could include pictures, etc. I have a receipt from a gas station I went to years ago, to get directions when I was completely lost and felt totally helpless. the clerk at the gas station drew me a map to get back to where I was familiar. When I finally got there I was so relieved and thankful to be back into my familiar surroundings that I have kept that receipt ever since as a reminder of God's faithfulness to help and deliver me in a stressful time. This goes in my scrapbook. When my little girl gets a little older, I want to help her make her own Faithfulness Scrapbook--updating it throughout the years. Then when she goes off to college, she will have a book of reminders of God's goodness to her.
Whatever way helps you (and your kids!) to remember God's goodness, in your busy life, will be the best way for you to remember the multitude of His mercies, so when trials come you will not soon forget His works in your life. (Psalm 106:7, 13)
As you begin recording the various ways the Lord is blessing you and answering your prayers, when trials come, and you re-read the multitude of His mercies in your life, you will notice that you will feel much less worried, much more at peace, and much more confident in the Lord to see you through. Try it and see!
Question for you: What do you do to remember the multitude of His mercies in your life?
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Copyright © 2012 Brooke Espinoza.