Remember God’s Wonders
Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.
Psalm 105 begins with a call to praise the Lord (v. 1). It adds that we should sing praise to him (v. 2), rejoice (v. 3), and seek his face (v. 4). Then we come upon an imperative that governs the rest of this lengthy psalm: "Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced" (v. 5). The final 40 verses of this psalm do just this, reciting God's faithfulness in the history of Israel.
My relationship with God has been powerfully impacted by a man who takes seriously the imperative of Psalm 105:5. Howard E. Butt Jr., the founder of Laity Lodge and inspiration for The High Calling, prays very much in the mode of Psalm 105. I have been with Howard on numerous occasions when his prayers are a recital of biblical history. He will often go on, after several minutes of thanking God for God's faithfulness in Scripture, to pray in detail about his own life experience. If you're not used to this practice, it can seem rather odd, maybe even a poor use of precious time. But, for Howard, this is bedrock spirituality. Why?
He answers this question in his wisdom-filled book, Who Can You Trust? Howard begins a chapter on God's trustworthiness by asking: "Where do I turn when my belief in God’s trustworthiness is small, or worse, dwindling? How do I cope when life crashes in and I’m starting to feel that everything, including God, is stacked against me? I may still believe in God’s love intellectually, but emotionally, for the moment—life is unfair, the game is rigged, the fix is in." He answers this question in several ways, one of which includes "Listening to History and to My Own Story." After he reviews in prayer God's amazing work in Scripture, in church history, and in his own life, Howard is ready to trust God even more. "Inevitably," he writes, "such a review overwhelms me with God's faithfulness, and makes my current bad patch no huge problem—at all—for Him."
He sums up the value of remembering God's wonders in this way: "All history—world history, Holy History, church history, plus your personal history and mine—tells us that God is dependably loving and good. You can rest your weary bones in that fact!" How true! Thanks be to God.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Have you ever prayed like Howard Butt? If so, when? What happened? If not, why not? Would you be willing to set aside a chunk of time to remember God's wonders in prayer as you offer God thanks and praise?
PRAYER: Gracious God, as I take seriously the command of Psalm 105:5, I ask for your help. Help me to remember your wonders throughout Scripture. Help me to remember your wonders in my life. Fill my mind with what you have done and my heart with gratitude.
[Now, take time to remember and thank the Lord. If you don't have time right now, set aside some time later in the day for this exercise in gratitude.]
Reclaiming Sabbath Keeping
Sabbath is more than a day off. It is a turning of the entire being toward God—a time set apart to contemplate life and work and praise the Creator for it all. The Christian observance of Sabbath is set apart by its lack of rules—there is no strict way to keep Sabbath in Christianity. It’s not a “must” of our faith. And yet, to ignore this fourth commandment is to miss some of God's richest blessings for his people. Join us for The High Calling series on Reclaiming Sabbath Keeping as we explore what the Christian Sabbath might look like and glimpse some benefits and challenges of Sabbath-keeping in today's productivity-driven culture.