Now, we’ve come to the third and last way that author, Sarah Young reminds us, in her devotional Jesus Calling, that we can know that we are able to do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4: 13). This third principle has to do with remembering and it tells us that our past experiences of His presence help us to cope successfully during hard times.
The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Psalm 126: 3
Recounting our blessings in times of struggle, counting them one by one, and looking at what God has done is a necessary exercise, especially when we feel the weight of the world fall upon our shoulders.
It is imperative that we take a retrospective look at our lives once in a while in order to not be consumed by despair, frustration and fear. The future seems bleak. The future is a scary place. The future is uncertain. And even though the past is already gone and we should not live in it, remembering God’s hand on us during the steps that we’ve already taken brings us the comfort of knowing He has been there before, which means He will continue to be here now and later because He never changes.
Thinking back in the years that have gone by, I can recount a long line of trials. For instance, as I still mourn the passing of my Father, even after three years, looking back at the huge blessing that his life represented to my own life comforts me. I praise God for giving me the gift of a good earthly Father and for the underserved blessing of a childhood spent in the safety of his embrace. Today, I don’t have him here with me anymore, and his death has left a great void; but I can rejoice because the memories are still with me and that is one of the many manifestations of God’s presence in my life, of His mercy and of His love.
God’s delivering power goes beyond the everyday and the mundane things of this world. His actions have the power to transcend to the eternal realm. What He has done doesn’t just impact our lives in this world, but our lives beyond…and it is all because of His love. Even if we can’t remember any but one blessing, let it be this one:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
This is what God has done for us. His Love Endures Forever!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3: 16