(Psalms 129:1-8) A Song of Ascents. "Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth"-- let Israel now say-- "Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me. The plowers plowed upon my back; they made long their furrows." The LORD is righteous; he has cut the cords of the wicked. May all who hate Zion be put to shame and turned backward! Let them be like the grass on the housetops, which withers before it grows up, with which the reaper does not fill his hand nor the binder of sheaves his arms, nor do those who pass by say, "The blessing of the LORD be upon you! We bless you in the name of the LORD!"
(John 16:32-33) Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."
Remembering your difficulties and mentally rehearsing your struggles and trials can be discouraging. The enemy taunts and tempts you to focus on your failures to keep you away from trusting God and relying on His strength for the future. God wants you to remember your past failures but from a different perspective. He wants you to remember how He delivered you from them and how He freed you from them through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ.
The difference is on what you focus. When you focus on the Lord and His works, the plans of discouragement and of separating you from God the enemy has are destroyed. In fact, the very opposite occurs. You draw closer to God and your faith is increased; you are humbled and your desire to worship Him also grows.
Remember today, the many ways God has delivered you, strengthened you, changed you, and saved you. Dwelling on these aspects of the Lord's work in your life frees you to serve Him zealously even in the wake of sinful behavior.
Questions For Discussion
- What is the difference between the purposes God and the enemy have for you remembering your past failures?
- How does remembering your past failures draw you closer to God, increase your faith, and keep you humble?
- How does this help you to serve Him better even after you have sinned?