Dr. Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Sun Lakes
Psalm 77:11 says, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.” In the midst of a crisis or time of uncertainty, it’s easy to forget the past provisions and protection of God. Worry crowds out trust and dependence on Him for wisdom and intervention. But this doesn’t have to happen. The way Christians shrink worry and regain peace and perspective is by meditating on the nature and ways of God Himself. What we allow to fill our minds will affect our thought patterns, actions and emotions. And filling them with scriptural truth is a powerful antidote to energy-sapping worry and fear. I love the prayer of David in Psalm 25:4-5, “Make me to know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day long.” This is a prayer I pray often!
Keeping a journal can also be a great help. I’m not referring to a diary where you record trips, conversations, social activities, etc. (though there’s value and enjoyment in this). Rather, I’m speaking of something much more significant – a written record of God’s gracious interventions in our lives. What a joy to journal the mighty deeds of the Lord as they unfold over the years! Recording these specific realities – whether answers to prayer or unexpected blessings from God – provides relief for worried minds, peace for troubled hearts and a calming for distraught emotions. Furthermore, this journaling helps create and preserve a spiritual heritage. Think of it as building a monument to God’s faithfulness – a monument that can be used of him in the generations of your family yet to come!
Sometimes our church sings the hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” The second stanza has this curious line, “Here I raise mine Ebenezer….” Perhaps some would ask, “What in the world is an Ebenezer? And how do you raise it?” In the Old Testament, Samuel took a stone and set it on the battlefield, naming it “Ebenezer” (meaning “stone of help”) and saying, “Till now the Lord has helped us.” (1 Samuel 7:12). Samuel was eloquently declaring through this stone marker that it was God Himself who was responsible for getting Israel to that point, winning the battles and providing the blessings. That’s worth commemorating! And it must never be forgotten. That’s why Samuel gave the people a visible reminder.
For us today, a journal can be our “Ebenezer” as we faithfully identify the mighty deeds of the Lord in our lives. Sadly, we sometimes remember what we should forget and forget what we should remember. Instead, we should ask God to give us the eyes to see and the mind to remember the right things – the things He has done!