Remember זָכַר : A Year in Review
Every December I take stock of my year, what I’ve learned, the blessings I’ve received and pray through how God wants to use me in the upcoming year. Last year, my word of the year that God placed on my heart was Remember.
In the Hebrew scriptures, zakar is often used in expressions about God “remembering” His covenant with His people (Gen. 9:15-16; Exod. 6:5; Lev. 26:42, 45; Ps. 105:8, 42; 106:45; Ezek. 16:60).
Remembrance has a special meaning in the Gospel of John [1, p. 51]. On the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus promises His disciples that the Holy Spirit would help them to remember what he had taught them:
“BUT THE COMFORTER, WHICH IS THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, HE SHALL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS, AND BRING ALL THINGS TO YOUR REMEMBRANCE, WHATSOEVER I HAVE SAID UNTO YOU'” (JOHN 14:26).
Throughout scripture we see the importance of remembering what God has done for us, however, we can oftentimes be distracted by the busy-ness of life to have careful recount or mindful mention of what God has taught us in our life or how He has shown up in our life.
The Lord told the Israelites, back when they were wandering in the desert after being rescued from Egypt, to be careful to remember all the Lord had done for them. They were entering the promised land. God knew that life would get in the way, that it would be easy to forget what God had done for them and how it was He and He alone who delivered them out of slavery, who preserved them in the wilderness, and who brought them into the promised land.
BE CAREFUL NOT TO FORGET THE LORD WHO BROUGHT YOU OUT OF EGYPT, THAT PLACE OF SLAVERY. – Deuteronomy 6:12
In remembering God’s works in Scripture and our lives, we are strengthened in our faith. A strengthened faith results in praise that comes more easily and prayers that flow more readily. Ultimately, we are better equipped to strengthen the faith of others and glorify God in our remembering.
This year has been a year full of ups and downs. I launched a book in the middle of a pandemic, battled doubts, insecurities and was overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacies throughout most of the year – but through all of it – there was one very constant practice in my life… I practiced remembrance.
As we remember what Jesus has done for us and how He has continually shown up for us, it enables us to stop focusing on impossibility and instead focus on the God who does the impossible.
Remembering specific ways that God has shown up in your life will strengthen your faith. Instead of focusing on how hard life can be… As we remember what Jesus has done for us and how He has continually shown up for us, it enables us to stop focusing on impossibility and instead focus on the God who does the impossible.