I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Tripp Prince
In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame. Psalm 22:4-5
One of the most helpful things we can do as Christians is to remember that we aren’t the first people to ever live. I know, it’s stating the obvious, but at times we forget this! We think our lives have finally presented God with a challenge that is too great for him to solve. We think we know a grief that is deeper than he can possibly heal. We think we have a longing in our hearts that he is incapable of filling.
When we take time to remember the hopes and dreams, the longings and fears of those who have gone before us, we also encounter in bold and beautiful ways, God’s faithfulness to his children.
At times, this may be an ancient remembrance, recalling God’s goodness to his people Israel, preserving and protecting them in the midst of great trial and struggle. In fact, this is one of the great benefits of reading the Bible. It’s taking the time to learn our family history, to see how God has acted throughout history and how he kept his promises then and will continue to keep them now.
At other times, it may be important to remember the more recent history of God’s faithfulness in your own life. When in your life have you had to trust in God for healing and hope? When have you been in despair and had the grace of God fill and renew you in a mighty way? The best remedy for current trials is a continual remembrance of God’s faithfulness in your life.
“Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord, and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying that he has done it” (Psalm 22:30-31).
While Psalm 22 begins with a remembrance of God’s faithfulness in the past, it ends with a bold challenge to look to the future. The reason you and I know about God’s love and goodness in previous generations is because they couldn’t keep the news to themselves! When God met them in their time of great need, they proclaimed his love and goodness from the rooftops. They wrote songs and poems. They told these stories to their children as they went to bed. In every way, they looked to future generations and said to them, “This is our God! Never forget how he loves you and cares for you!”
If you have encountered the love of God shown in Jesus, you stand in a long line of men, women, and children who have been renewed and restored by his goodness and faithfulness. Yet we must also look to the future, going out of our way to tell the story of God’s goodness in our lives. Live in such a way that when future generations need to be reminded that God loves them and will never abandon them, they can look to your life and be encouraged!
Prayer: Father, your great love for creation extends throughout all time and space. Just as you have loved your people in ages past, you are faithful to keep your promises today. We know that you will never leave us or abandon us. Help us remember this when we are tempted to forget or question your goodness. This we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.