Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Forgetting God's Promises

In reading the Bible, I've come across a few passages that struck me as odd and I wondered how so many could be so foolish. In the same moment, God revealed to me what He wanted me to share with you in explaining things so wonderfully today.

The parts of the Bible I was questioning were the Israelites and the disciples of Jesus. Both sets of people had witnessed God's amazing power in ways we can only imagine these days. Although God is still in the miracle business.

The Israelites spent 40 years wandering around in the desert when it could have taken them 11 days. Did you ever realize that? What a complete waste of 39 years plus a few months and days tossed in. So why were they so foolish and what took them so long?

They complained about everything from the food they were missing and that they were hungry so God rained down enough manna for their daily needs. Remember it was only enough for the day, not weeks and months worth. Despite this wonderful miracle, then they complained about a lack of water, which God sprang forth water from a rock.

Then it was back to the same old manna day after day, so God brought them quail. Then they complained about more water. Again God provided for them. He rescued them time after time, yet they seemed to forget what He had done for them previously. How could you forget all that?
Yet they did, and pretty soon God grew tired of their disbelief and thus the reason for the 40 years of waste in the desert when they could have been living the good life.

We have a similar story about the disciples of Jesus constantly doubting His provision when He walked among them. When they witnessed the feeding of the 5000 with a few loaves of bread and fish, they questioned him some weeks later at the feeding of the 3000. How could they question whether Jesus could feed them? Or for that matter raise the dead or heal the sick, blind or deaf?

Yet how often do we still continue to question God after He has answered previous prayers for us? Has God failed you in your previous prayers? What about healing for someone that has been answered?

Or a request for financial provisions, or bringing about the salvation of a lost soul? Or restoring a family from the brink of a complete loss?

Why do we forget how God has blessed us in the past and thus when we find ourselves in similar storms we forget how to swim? How to navigate through this storm?

Aren't we just the same as the Israelites and disciples?

In my case, the answer is a definite YES!

So how can I make sure to weather the next storm more successfully? How can I grow spiritually in my character with God?

Sure we can make sure our first response is always prayer but in order to reduce our stress levels it's important to remember our prayer histories.

I would recommend following God's promise and response to this from Deut 4:9 - "Be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live."

WOW! It's instruction from God with a valid point. I believe we need to write them down and remember it all. The before's, durings and afters of our storms, trials and sufferings. It allows us in our own words to remember where we were at, how we dealt with it during the storm and how God came through in unexpected ways.

Without those recorded pieces of our own spiritual histories we are likely to repeat those same mistakes time and time again and thus find ourselves wandering around in the desert for 40 years when we could be blessed with an 11 day journey instead and growing in our character instead of wallowing in our stress.

I, myself, am creating a storm journal not just a prayer one, because it's through our storms that develop our faith and character. The most important thing I can do is to be honest through the entire storm so I can look back and find my low moments and see just how I got through them. Hopefully it will help me to look back and see just how God has never failed me in my deepest moments of my life but brought me to the mountain tops to see the valley I just walked through.

Please let me know how this impacted you or your thoughts on this post. I am hoping that it blesses you in the many ways it blessed me today.


Divine Mrs D said...

It gave me a sense of calm during some panic. I can't say much, but I'm about to hyperventilate at my desk. But it'll be okay. God will make it okay and I just need to remember his promises and all the things He's done before.

Denise said...

This blessed me, I love the idea of a storm journal sis. I love you.

Heckety said...

This is a fantastic idea- A Storm Journal! Due to Thankful Thursdays meme I've found that counting my blessings regularly is a great help, and I think this too would really help me grow. Its not that I forget God answers prayer, I forget that He is GOD- OMNIPOTENT!
Yup! This is a good one!!!

Mari said...

Yes - this blessed me. I have often thought that we are like the Israelites, the disciples and the Pharisees, but yet I keep repeating it, just like they did. Thanks!

Loren said...

I have ALWAYS wondered HOW IN THE WORLD they could forget or complain yet we do the same thing.....
What an awesome thing to create a Storm Journal! You are so right~ it is during the storms that we grow deeper in our Faith & stronger too!

Trusting this storm will pass soon! Thank you for always teaching us when you are smack in the middle of your storms!

Love you

teddytrump said...

Hi Kat, I love this post, really blessed me... We always keep focus on our problem and we often forget to HIS promise..thanks for reminding me :)

by the way, if you don't mind Kat, please review my game here


thanks a lot :)

Just Be Real said...

Cool clever idea a Storm journal. Thanks Kat for sharing this idea. Blessings.

Jen said...

You are so right - it's funny how long it takes sometimes of us (me for sure) to figure these things out. I know when I first started reading through the bible, I thought Sheesh these people are stupid; all they do is WHINE. How many signs do they need?? You know what though? Somewhere along the line it hit me that we do exactly the same thing. Maybe we don't have the big obvious signs they had in the Old Testament, but we definitely have enough of them that we should know better (of course that doesn't stop me from complaining like a nitwit - that's where those Divine Headthumps come in...oy :o)

petrii said...

"How can I grow spiritually in my character with God?"

I loved this question, because sometimes our decisions are based on our character, the person we are when no one is around, when no one is watching. It is so important to develop character in accordance with the heart of God.

I've been in a very tumultous storm for over a year now, and at times it has seemed so overwhelming to me. I love the idea of a storm journal. What a way to get through the storm and be able to look back and see the rescue as it unfolded. Beautiful.

Love you friend ~~ have a Blessed day,

Crown of Beauty said...

I love the passage you quoted from Deut 4:9.

I think the idea of a storm journal is great. Apart from a thnksgiving journal, the storm journal helps you to get real with God and with yourself. It helps you to process your feelings as you go through the storm.

THanks for this idea.


GraceGal said...

As I was reading your post, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend of mine the other day. She has been battling leukemia for years. She was sharing some of the present problems and they are fierce, but her focus was on one miracle the Lord did for her in the midst of it. I could hardly believe it. As a person who has experienced physical problems, I know the cloud of discouragement that tries to descend upon one's mind. Yet here she was, focusing on the one ray of hope. I have been praying for the grace to praise Him on the mountains of difficulties and in those valley times. This praise is not a stilted rehearsal but a simple response to His love. Only by His grace. Thanks for the needed reminder.

SusanD said...

Ha! Wait till you read my post today. I'm thinkin God is def dealing with both of us in this area, just in different ways. I love the idea of a storm journal. Thanks for sharing. Praying here....for you there. Blessings, SusanD

RCUBEs said...

Hi sister Kat! I completely agree with you that we all do the same...of how we keep complaining, forgetting His goodness which is not only once but all the time...That's a great idea, too - to have that Storm Journal. There is nothing like writing it down, all the victories you have as you sail through life's storms. Knowing that He is there with you, never abandoning you. He is all around us. We just don't desire to see Him in those things sometimes, I think or fail to see those signs [of His love]...On a break but I just want to come by and visit you and wish you a great day! God bless.

Marydon said...

I guess the thing that I often ponder, Kat, is how anyone would question His word to begin with ...

Lowly humans that we be, mistakes that we make ... we know better, we make choices ... BUT we are fully aware of His words.

Beautiful write, my friend.
TTFN ~ Hugs. Marydon

Rita said...

And He has walked all the way through the storms with us! You are right, how can we forget and not keep those things before us to remind us of His great blessings. Thank you for reminding us. I loved this post and the reminders.

Wanda said...

Great points you brought up. Sometimes I read by Bible and think how could "they" think that way when God had proven Himself. But He's quick to remind me that I act the same way at times. I agree with the need to remember. Often quoted is the scripture regarding forgetting those things that are behind me but I do believe (and the scripture you mention and others support) there are some things we do need to keep in rememberance. I once read a book where the author stated she kept a bread basket with artifical bread on which she had written prayers that had been answered. When we're in a storm our mind tends to focus on the here and now but remembering the past can helps reminds of God's faithfulness. Like the idea of a storm journal as well. Thanks for sharing your insight.