The Importance of Remembering

Dustin Crowe
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In the Bible, God commands storing up memories—in recorded stories, memorials and monuments, food and drink, and through festivals and special days—to teach us about who He is. The walk down memory lane gives ample opportunities to sing God’s praise and give thanks. Grateful remembering compels us to turn and trust today in the one who proved Himself trustworthy in the past.

Fight Forgetfulness

Remembering spiritual truths seems like it should be easy. It’s not. We quickly forget God or drift toward spiritual amnesia. We dismiss what God has done for us or taught us. Trying circumstances and bitter temptations appear rosier in the rearview mirror.

Thanks to God produces trust in God. Trust helps us see God’s glory.

God knows our weaknesses, including our forgetfulness. But He also recognizes how much remembering bolsters our faith. He instructs us to remember and warns against forgetting. Tony Reinke writes, “Remembering is a key verb of the Christian life. We recall our past, we correct our nearsightedness, we take heart, we regain mental strength, we find peace in the eternal Word. Remembering is one of the key spiritual disciplines we must guard with vigilance amid the mind-fragmenting and past- forgetting temptations of the digital age.”[1]

Diligent Memory

The Bible links thanksgiving and remembrance to strengthen God’s people when they’re weak. Christians must draw from the well of their memories and histories to find refreshment in God’s faithfulness.

Charles Spurgeon called this “diligent memory.” “Memory seems to lie in two things: first, in retaining an impression, and then in recollecting it at a future time.”[2] Reflecting on God’s works invites us to give Him thanks. Thanks to God produces trust in God. Trust helps us see God’s glory. The bigger God becomes in our mind’s eye the smaller our problems become. Not because they aren’t real or scary, but because they shrink in a side-by-side comparison to God.

Throughout Scripture, God’s people remember His works, promises, and character. It’s not a way to swap stories and remember the good ole times. We must remember because we need to look back to find grounds to trust in God. Present fears and future anxieties are calmed by past faithfulness—not our faithfulness but God’s faithfulness. Remembering generates thanksgiving.

[1] Tony Reinke, 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 188.

[2] Charles Spurgeon, The Practice of Praise (Springdale, PA: Whitaker House, 1995), 20.

For Further Reading:

The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks

by Dustin Crowe

The apostle Paul instructed the Philippians to be anxious in nothing and thankful in everything. And when he said everything—he meant...

book cover for The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks