The Problem of Forgetting
By Lori Stewart
David said, “Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things He does for me.” (Ps 103:2)
David told himself to never forget the good things God has done. We also must make up our minds to never forget God’s goodness in our lives.
As I was reading through the book of Psalms, I began to note all the times forgetting was mentioned (chapters 78, 103, 106, 137). Psalm 107 says when we forget it “tests God’s patience, frustrates the Holy One of Israel, and makes God’s anger rise.” That had my attention! At the end of my study, I was convinced that forgetting God’s goodness is a sin. Here are some reasons why:
- Forgetting leads to unbelief, then rebellion. Even though the children of Israel had just witnessed the miraculous 10 plagues of Egypt and escaped 400 years of slavery, they “soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against Him at the Red Sea.” (Ps.106:7) Immediately following their Red Sea miracle, they lost hope when there was no water source. Repeatedly, the children of Israel forgot the miracles God had just done for them, and they grumbled, wanted to turn back, and demanded new leadership.
- Forgetting makes us do foolish things. At Mt. Sinai, the people got tired of waiting for Moses and “traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating ox!” (Ps. 106:20) How quickly the people forgot what God had done! Forgetting causes us to get impatient and not wait on His direction. (Ps. 106:13) Impatient people do stupid things.
- Forgetting ignites God’s anger. They forgot God, their Savior, who had done such great things, such wonderful things ... such awesome deeds, so "He declared He would destroy them.” (Ps. 106:21-23) Thankfully, Moses stepped in time after time and saved the people from God’s wrath.
All of us can say that God has done great, wonderful, and awesome things in our life. But when the next trial or test comes, are we quick to remember what God has done or do we worry and fret about the future?
The 2 R’s- Record and Remember
- Record- Journal your journey with God.
- Remember- Reflect daily on answered prayer and go back and reread your recorded miracles along the way.
Don’t think of journaling as keeping a diary. Just have a notepad handy when you read your Bible each day, and when God highlights a Scripture to you, copy it into your notepad/journal. Maybe that Scripture applies to something you’ve been praying for such as a job or a financial need. Write the prayer request next to the verse. Over time, go back over your journal and continue to claim those verses in prayer. When the answer comes, go back and record the date.
Memorize the verses that God gives you during specific situations or seasons of life. David said, “I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your principles and not forget your Word.” If you’re not great at memorizing, then post them all over your usual places—bathroom mirror, refrigerator, and computer desktop.
In addition, if you receive a prophecy over your life from a trusted source, write it down. Prophecies can encourage us to keep pressing toward the vision, even when everything we see around us seems to scream otherwise. Habakkuk 2:1-4 reminds us to write down the vision and believe that even if the answer is delayed it will be fulfilled.
My journals are full of answered prayer. I write the word “Done” and the date the answer came next to my prayers. My faith grows daily in God’s word because I have a record of my God’s activity in my life!
Unfortunately, I still forget to follow my own advice. Last summer, my family and I moved from the West coast to the East coast. We spent two weeks driving five of us and a dog across the country, enjoying special sites and special friends along the way. Leaving the Grand Canyon and Arizona, I drove the small car while my husband drove the kids in our SUV. For the first time on the trip, I was alone. I didn’t even turn the radio on. As I marveled at the gorgeous scenery driving into New Mexico, God began revealing to me incredible aspects of his character. Over the next hour, I could have preached the sermon of sermons! I had insight into the Word of God that I’d never had before. I knew that at our next stop, I needed to write down everything the Holy Spirit had shown me.
But I didn’t. I forgot. And to this day, I can’t remember anything that God illuminated to me during the drive. How foolish of me! Just like David, I too pray that I never again forget God’s goodness.
Spend time each day reflecting on God’s goodness. God wants us to pay attention! He is always active in our lives, but we fail to notice. Just like David, make up your mind to remember God’s daily supernatural intervention in your life. Make up your mind to never forget.
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Lori Stewart is the guest segment producer at The 700 Club. She’s also a pastor’s wife and Creative Director at 3n1 Church in Suffolk, Va. She and her husband Matt have three teenagers and a Rhodesian ridgeback, Roxy. When Lori gets inspired, she writes for her blog, www.thepastorswifesurvivalguide.blogspot.com. She enjoys date nights, movies, bargain shopping, and hanging out with her kids.
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