Victoria Osteen - The Power Of Remembering
I want to encourage us today about remembering, remembering the good, remembering the things that are helpful to us. You see, so many times in life, there's negative things that happened to us. Maybe a bad childhood, maybe a divorce, some negative words have been spoken in your life, and those are the things we don't want to remember. We want to remember what is beneficial and what is good.
Have you ever been mowing the lawn or maybe washing the dishes, driving down the street, and all of a sudden a memory from the past hits your thoughts? Man, it came out of nowhere. Or maybe something that had happened 2 weeks ago at work just kind of runs right into your thought life, and it makes you feel sad, or lonely, depressed. Maybe those negative thoughts made you even feel fear for a moment, fear of what would happen in the future. You see, that's what negative thoughts do to our life, they stop us. They're intended to cause us to pause, to not walk in faith and victory, so that's why I want to encourage us so much to remember what we're remembering.
Let's remember the good. The apostles wrote many times in the New Testament, they wrote things like this, "I am writing to remind you. I am writing to remind you again". Paul put it this way, he said, "I never get tired of reminding you". In 2 Peter, Peter said this, he says, "I'm writing you two letters, two letters to remind you". You see, they knew the power in remembering the right thing. They knew that it could transform your life when you remembered what God has said and when you remember what God has done.
See, we need to remember. It's easy to put our minds on autopilot, but we have to know that there's transforming power, and it's worth using our time and energy to focus on what we're remembering. The Old Testament, God commanded his people, the children of Israel, he commanded them to take time out from their busy schedules several times a year to celebrate. Festivals he called them, times of remembrance. See, he wanted them to stop, to celebrate what he had done.
Now, can I tell you this? This wasn't a suggestion by God. It wasn't something that was optional. God required them to take time to stop and remember the miracles, how he parted the Red Sea, how he brought water out of the rock, how manna came down from heaven. He wanted them to pause and remember the wonders that he had done, the marvelous deeds that he had performed. You know why he wanted them to do that? Because they're a lot like us today. They get busy doing life, and sometimes, when we're so busy doing life, we have a tendency to forget, and in that busyness, and in those struggles, and in those places that's trying to make things happen, we find ourself thinking, "If I don't make this happen, it's not going to happen. I got to get this done, I got to do this, I got to do that", and we struggle and we struggle, and we forget.
We forget who's in control. We forget who we can depend on. We forget who can do things that we can't do. We forget the miracles that God has done in our life. So often, we forget what we should remember, our victories, our success, the good times. You see, some people feel guilty if they're having fun. Sometimes we remember what we should forget, the pain, the heartache, the loneliness. You see, we can't allow the things of the past to control our life. God doesn't remember those past mistakes. He doesn't even remember the things that people spoke into your life. All he knows is he wants you to move forward today. He wants you to remember the good, remember what he has done. See, when we don't use the power of remembrance for our favor, then it weakens our life. Let's remember the good so that we can strengthen our life. We need to choose to rewrite our history.
Now, you say, "How do we do that? These things really happen, and Victoria, you're saying I should be in denial"? No, I'm not saying you should be in denial. I'm saying you should choose your pieces to create your God story. You create your God story. You don't have to let your past create the story and a history for you. God has already done away with your past. The only way not to let that past be the past is to not live in the past. You see, you can't live in the past if you want to get away from your past. You have to understand today is your future. The past is the past, but today is your future. What are you going to remember? What story are you creating for your life?
See, the Psalmist said, "I remember what the Lord has done. I remember his marvelous works". Why? Because he had to bring something that was from the past, which was a miracle, how God had helped him before, he had to bring it into the future so that he could get through the difficult time he was going through, so he could get through any doubt or any unbelief that was trying to stop him. See, that's our choice today. We can either take a piece of the God story and bring it into our future, or we can take a piece of something that's not going to help us that God's already taken care of and bring it into our future.
See, what are you remembering is so very important today. The Bible records how God also told his people to put down memorial stones, stones of remembrance. He said, "Put these stones down so you can remember the specific victories that I have given you, the things that I helped you with". See, these were so that they could remember as they passed by. As they lived their life, they put down those memorial stones not only for themselves, but God said, "I want you to put these down for future generations. I want them to see how I work in your life".
Do you have any memorial stones? Do you have some things in your life? 'cause I can tell you this today, you wouldn't be sitting here if God hadn't done great things in your life. You have memorial stones. You have victories. You know, maybe there's a job that you're going to every single day and you can certainly say, "God, I wouldn't have this job if it wasn't for you". Maybe you've had student loans that you've been paying on for a long time, and it's been difficult and it's been rough, but you finally got them paid off. Maybe your car is a big old memorial stone, and you're saying, "God, thank you for this car. This is my memorial stone of your goodness, of your mercy and your favor in my life".
See, when we look around, we can see these places and spaces in our life that God brought us victory, brought us success. That's why he wants us to remember the good things. He wants us to move them forward and create our God story. The mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, tells a story about how his father died when he was 13 years old, and how his mother raised 9 children all by herself, and he tells about how she brought them to church and raised them in church, and how it was very important to her that they got in school, and so she made sure they were in school because an education was very important to her. He tells how it was rough, times were tough. They couldn't always have what they wanted or even sometimes what they needed.
He said, "But the thing I remember about my mother is this. She never complained, she never told me how hard it was. She always said this, 'Sylvester, tomorrow will be a better day than today'". Tomorrow will be a better day than today. You know, Sylvester Turner is a Harvard grad. When he became mayor of this city, he gave his inaugural address, and this is what he said. He said, "Today is evident what my mom always said was very true. Tomorrow will be better than today".
You see, Sylvester's mother laid down a memorial stone of faith to her children. You see, with her words and with her actions, she erected God's goodness in their life. She laid down a memorial stone of hope for his future that he always remembered. You see, oftentimes we want to tell our children how hard it is, and why they can't have this, and how they shouldn't do that because they may end up like this. But can I suggest to us today that we begin to bring those God pieces and lay them at the feet of our children? Let's create a God story for their future. Let's tell them how God got you through and how he's going to get them through.
You see, those stones will create stepping stones for their future. We need to erect some memorial stones. We need to remember what we're remembering. Bring your God story forward so that it'll energize and infuse your life. You see, when you tell the next generation of the deeds of the Lord and his mighty power, it makes a difference in your family line. It makes a difference for your future. Remembering God keeps us hopeful, and it encourages us, and it shapes our thoughts, and prepares us for the faith to allow God to bring those good things in our life, amen? Amen, he's an awesome God.