According to psychologists there are three stages our brain has to go through to remember something. They are: encoding, storage, and retrieval. Put simply, encoding happens when we process information that our brain has received, storage is when we turn that information into a permanent record, and retrieval is when we locate a memory and return it to our consciousness. Faithfulness has a lot to do with our memory. Faithfulness is to be loyal, constant, devoted, committed and steadfast. As we move from one day to the next, it can be challenging to remain faithful to someone or something without developing the art of remembering the times you have shared together.
If you are familiar with the story of the Prince of Egypt, then you will know that the Israelites, God’s people, were enslaved in Egypt for 400 years. God rescued the Israelites by demonstrating many mighty wonders and miracles, that ranged from turning the Nile to blood, to enveloping all of Egypt in darkness. During this time, He instituted the Passover. Passover is where the Israelites were to take a lamb to eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Each element of the Passover is used to represent an aspect of their liberation from slavery. The blood of the lamb shows that they were saved from the plague of the firstborn, the unleavened bread reminds them that they fled Egypt without having time to add yeast to their dough, and the bitter herbs represent the bitterness of slavery. God asked His people to keep the Passover throughout each generation so that they would not forget His faithfulness towards them, and what it was like before He saved them. Thereafter God promises to lead them to a land He has prepared for them; however, there will be challenges along the way and battles to be won. God knows that if His people regularly remember Who He is and What He has done, then they are more likely to remain faithful to Him.
Displaying faith, is a lot like walking through life backwards. As we move forward each day, we cannot see what is ahead of us, and yet in order to remain faithful to ourselves or someone else we must consider the events that have already taken place and recount what we know so far. In the recent documentary ‘Andrew Murray: Resurfacing’, Murray records the ongoing struggle he had with his devastating hip injury. Though suffering excruciating pain whilst playing tennis, throughout 2017-2019, Murray had multiple surgeries and was determined to try all means of rehabilitation to be able to play tennis again. His determination during rehabilitation was fuelled by the knowledge of what he had been capable of in the past. He strived to regularly remember his achievements and was willing to put himself through the unimaginable to get back to the sport he loves.
Murray had faith in his ability to play tennis and was hoping for an outcome that he did not yet experience; to play without pain. According to the Bible ‘Faith means being sure of the things we hope for, and faith means knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.’ Hebrews 11:1. If you are a Christian, you have chosen to put your faith in God, the author of the Bible. The Bible is a book written by God about Who He is and What He has done. The story does not focus on Why or How the events took place. During the act of communion, Christians take the time to remember the lengths to which Jesus had to go through to purchase the freedom that all Christians now have. When we decide to put our faith in God for this miracle, we are committing to putting the rest of our eternity into His hands. What we have faith for will then depend on what we know about Him, what we believe He has done before, and what He says He will do in the future.
As humans we look at our past experiences and the lives around us and sometimes it is this that helps us move forward in faithfulness. It does not mean we know what is around the corner, but we can take the next step in faith.
In the bible, faith is depicted as a shield. To remember who God is, and what He has done. According to His word faith shields us from doubt and fear of the future. What can you remember that God has done in your life, that he can use to give you faith for what’s ahead?
By Bethlehem Morris