Have you ever had to rely on your memory for something important? Like, really important. I’m not talking about remembering to pick up milk at the grocery store on the way home from work or the date of your wedding anniversary. I’m talking about having to remember something so important that if you didn’t remember it, you would be putting your life and the lives of others in danger. We always have to remember dates, to-do lists, and other little bits of life, but few of us can recall a time in which our lives depended upon our memory. What we often forget is that our dependence upon God in our daily lives relies heavily on our memory.
In Psalm 77, the psalmist writes about his confidence in the past works of God in a critical time in which God seems silent. He writes: “I will remember the Lord’s works; yes, I will remember your ancient wonders. I will reflect on all you have done and meditate on your actions” (vv. 11-12). In times of crisis, when it feels as if our prayers are hitting the ceiling instead of the ears of God, our memories are some of our strongest weapons against the haunts of discouragement and despair.
The Israelites forgot. God led them out of bondage in Egypt with plagues and miracles, but when they didn’t like the food God rained down from the sky, they whined and wandered. David forgot. He sinfully pursued a woman who was not his wife, despite the wonders God had already accomplished through his life and works. Peter forgot. He denied knowing Jesus immediately following his arrest, even after knowing his Savior in the flesh and face to face.
When we are in our darkest valleys, it sometimes feels like God is silent. But when we struggle to hear the voice and feel the presence of God, we must remember what He has done for us, particularly what He has done for us in Christ. This is one reason reading Scripture is so important. If we rarely engage God’s Word, it is difficult to find comfort in His promises or His past work on our behalf.
Amidst the perceived silence of God, we are prone to forget. But in Psalm 77, we are reminded of the importance of remembering God’s works in both eternity’s past and in our own past. When it feels like God is silent, we resist the temptation to forge our own paths and forget the narrow way that has already been set before us (Matthew 7:13-14).
Written by Chris Martin