For great is His steadfast love toward us and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever…Out of my distress I called on the Lord: the Lord answered me and set me free…You are my God and I will give thanks to You; You are my God (and) I will extol You. Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good for His steadfast love endures forever! Excerpts from Ps 117:2a and Ps 118:5 and 28-29
Obviously the Psalmist is exhorting us to remember that God is faithful and His steadfast love is great. How then could I fold this into my heart and life with sincerity and not just mouth the words?
More times than not I have difficulty in remembering that God is good towards me. Where the rubber hits the road, when I am pressed to decide, when I think about the circumstances facing me, I don’t automatically remember that “Great is His steadfast love towards me.”
Why is that? Why does it take effort to just remember?
Currently I am faced with a deep issue-family. If it was physical distress maybe I would default to extoling the Lord and confessing His abiding Love and concern towards me. Maybe I would remember that as a disciple and son God is committed to “conforming (me) to the image of the Son.” Maybe I would remember that God instituted the fellowship of the local church to help in matters of distress.
But when it comes to personal stuff and not physical-I tend to forget things. How then can I trigger the default in my heart to JUST REMEMBER?
Most of us can see it as exampled with our military: Prepare for conflict in the time of peace. It is the same with Christians. Conflict and war is not the time to try on the whole armor of God. If that armor is not comfortable, if it feels strange and unfamiliar, then more than likely it will not be effective if we put it on, having not trained in it before.
In the next chapter of Psalms there are a ton of references to the Precepts of God. If I am not engaging not only in His Word but the precepts and principles behind them (what would be called doctrine in the New Testament) then broadly I am not preparing myself—I am not getting my armor fitted.
Lifting this from Isaiah a good pattern is to apply “line upon line, precept upon precept.” I think the implication is that we don’t grow haphazardly but purposefully.
Today I failed, over the top failed. 15 minutes of not being prepared is leading to days and days of sorrow and repentance. I will struggle to remember the Goodness and Steadfast love of God-but I am determined to do so.
Father-I cry to you. I raise a spoken voice, a silent voice, loudly and candidly a bit incoherent. Anguish surrounds my heart. I remember Your deliverance, Your rescue of me from the past—In You is my only Hope for the days to come. AMEN.