Hold on to the good memories.
It’s easier for people to look at an accomplishment as a whole, rather than the sum of the parts involved. With time, it’s harder to remember someone else’s efforts that may have ensured our success. It’s important to acknowledge invaluable support we received, especially in those tough times. If we don’t keep memories of those who helped us during challenging times, we will forget their efforts. By creating a memorial, we honor the kindness and support that others gave.
9 Now when Tou king of Hamath heard that David had defeated all the army of Hadadezer king of Zobah, 10 he sent Hadoram, his son to King David; to greet him and bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him (for Hadadezer had been at war with Tou); and Hadoram brought with him all kinds of articles of gold, silver, and bronze. 11 King David also dedicated these to The Lord, along with the silver and gold that he had brought from all these nations—from Edom, from Moab, from the people of Ammon, from the Philistines, and from Amalek (1 Chronicles 18).
God gave David victory over his adversaries in the wars he fought with Edom, Moab, Philistines and Amalek. Upon hearing about David’s rip-roaring success, king Tou sent David gifts of gold, silver and bronze. David didn’t furnish his palace with them, nor did he have them smelted to adorn himself with; he instead dedicated them to The LORD. He took also of the spoils from the nations he defeated and dedicated them to God. David understood that God had preserved him by fighting for him. He expressed his gratitude by honoring God with all his gains.
How often we forget the fervent prayers we made to God, when we had no other hope. Remember to thank God as much as you ask of Him. When God comes through for us, we should acknowledge His Goodness. Have you dedicated to God some of your accomplishments? Don’t usurp the glory from Him. Gratitude is the acknowledgement of good done by others. Dedicating a portion of the victory to God’s honor, shows humility. God gives victory to those who are willing to preserve His memory.
4 Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; 5 and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7 Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of The Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever (Joshua 4).”
On the way to the promised land, The LORD commanded Joshua to send twelve men representing the tribes of Israel, into the midst of the Jordan, to take up stones to commemorate it being cut off. The LORD had caused the overflowing Jordan to stand us a heap and create a highway for the Israelites, to cross over. The twelve men went ahead, as the priests stood in the midst of it, and picked up the stones. These were not pebbles; they were heavy stones that had to be carried on their shoulders. These would be a memorial to teach the next generations how The LORD had separated the waters so that they could cross to the promised land.
Memorials are not just for us but for the generations coming after us, to retain a relic of our past. Maybe you don’t have a memorial, but you may have a story to tell about great experiences that you have had with God. There are situations we thought we could never get out of, but for God, we would have come to grief. Are we defining God to the next generation, by retailing what He has done for us? The less we tell others, the less we will remember. We should be narrating good experiences more than we do bad ones. People will remember the good as much as they do the bad. There’s so much of God’s Goodness to recount each day. Just like the Israelites, we should be speaking to the next generation about what God has done for us, daily. It will lift up our spirits and it will give them hope to trust in Him, in their own circumstances. We don’t have to wait to share a big miracle; each day has it’s small mercies to be grateful for.
7 Then The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to The LORD, who had appeared to him. 8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to The LORD and called on The Name of The LORD (Genesis 12).
At the place where God made a promise to Abram, Abram built an altar to The LORD. Abram had just set foot in Canaan, he had no children, and was not a resident of Canaan, when God promised to give the land to him and his descendants. Abram believed God and right there he worshipped Him. Abram took God at His word and built Him an altar at the place of promise—there he called on The Name of The LORD.
If we first have to see prayers answered we will not worship God. Faith honors God for things not yet seen. Make the place of promise an altar to seek God. What of the place God has blessed you, have you made it a place of His Honor? Did you get that house, job, marriage or promotion? Turn it into a place to seek Him, as a reminder of His Faithfulness. Make it a place of exuding faith in Him, for everything else you need.
10 And I said, “This is my anguish; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” 11 I will remember the works of The LORD. Surely, I will remember Your wonders of old. 12 I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds (Psalm 77).
We can’t ignore the reality of our troubles and pain, by denying how we feel. We have to admit when we are hurting; that things aren’t the way we would have liked them to be. But we must choose not to let fear, sadness and anxiety get the best of us. In our anguish we should remember God’s Love, Mercy and Goodness. Instead of meditating on the things we have no power changing or controlling, we can remind ourselves of God’s Faithfulness. We can encourage ourselves by clinging to the moments He never failed us . This will change our mood and turn our focus away from sullen, to hopeful. Memories of God’s Greatness are a tower of refuge in troubled times.
8 Oh, give thanks to The LORD! Call upon His Name. Make known His deeds among the peoples! 9 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! 10 Glory in His Holy Name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek The LORD! (1 Chronicles 16)
What could be a better pick-me-up than singing and rejoicing? Talking of God’s wondrous works will keep us from losing steam. Glory in His Name by basking in His Fame. Those who seek The LORD are made glad by Who He is. They call upon Him with confidence in Him. How can one not rejoice after they have sought The Great King? Will He not let His children delight in His Goodness? Talk about His Abilities, instead of your uncertainty. If you can’t rejoice in your circumstances, you can rejoice in The LORD. If you can’t be thankful for your distressing situation, consider being thankful to The LORD; Who has you in His Loving Arms. Like any loving father, He will move heaven and earth to help us. He will never forsake us. He can use others as vehicles of His Love, because He cannot fail us.
8 Yes, in the way of Your Judgments, O Lord, we have waited for You. The desire of our soul is for Your Name and for the remembrance of You (Isaiah 26).
If we can wait for God to answer us by trying to obey Him, we will have given ourselves something better to do. We opt out of worrying by focusing our energy on obedience. The desire of our souls should be to honor His Name. What if you prayed this way everyday? “LORD my greatest desire is the remembrance of You.” That would make every situation we face a remembrance of Him. It would mean we would be asking God to make a Great Name for Himself—well-renowned for what He can do. As we wait in obedience, He continues to exceed expectations.
We should not forget what The LORD has done for us. Every place of future or fulfilled promise is a place to worship. Memories we share with our loved ones, will keep us from doubting Him. The next generation will need hope for today and the future. We can leave them with relics of our past experiences of God’s Greatness. In our troubling times, it will benefit us greatly to focus our energy on God’s Faithfulness, by encouraging ourselves to cling to Him. Each day is an opportunity to live in obedience and to give God’s Name a place of honor. As much as we have to take the good with the bad, of what each moment gives us, we can choose to speak of God’s Goodness. Our past encounters with God should be etched in our minds. They will keep us in good stead, when we have no control of everything else.
5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands. 6 I spread out my hands to You. My soul longs for You like a thirsty land (Psalm 143).