When people hear that I’m a pastor’s wife, their responses are often something like:

“Wow, I could never do that.”

“I’ll pray for you.”

“Well, that’s not for the faint of heart.”

As I’m writing this, I’m thinking that it is a sad commentary on how the church views the role of a pastor’s wife! Yet I understand why people say that. In fact, it is what I have said myself. And I believe it is only because, as believers, we know the truth. That Satan is prowling around to destroy the church. We know that often that the tip of His weapon is often pointed directly at leaders in the church either through their own sin or through the sin of others.

When my husband and I first started on this journey, we didn’t think much about the challenges. We only thought about the great fulfillment we’d have if he were to be called to full-time ministry. Since then, I’ve found that some of the greatest challenges I’ve experienced as a pastor’s wife are the works that the Lord has done in my own heart.

You see, fear has played a very large role in my life. And the dagger of fear wielded by our enemy, the accuser, can be the single most detrimental thing to a church family and a pastor’s family. God has had much work to do in my heart and mind over the past six years and He has much left to do.

This next practice in going beyond fear to courage and trust has been the most helpful to me in the scary ministry-related trials I’ve experienced in the past six years. My husband and I have gone toe to toe with Satan more than once and have physically, mentally, and spiritually survived the battlefield only because of the Lord’s strength, provision, and work.  And in the midst of the battles, the Holy Spirit’s help through this most important practice helped my husband and I keep our heads.

It is the simple practice of remembering again. Last week we looked at remembering who our Heavenly Father is and who we are in Him. This week we are looking at remembering what God has done in the past in the life of His people in scripture, in our lives as individuals, and in our lives and the church’s life currently.

If you ever wonder what you should fill your mind with that is good and true, here is a great place to start. Once you begin, there is literally no end.

The most important thing we can do is to remember God’s faithfulness and trustworthiness in the past to His people. God’s people were really good at this throughout history as recorded in the bible. The Psalms are full of remembering. They recounted God’ works when they gathered together for worship. Psalm 136 is the perfect Psalm to read if we need to recount God’s mighty works toward His people in history.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;” -Psalm 136:1-9

If you grow weary of saying that same line over and over, “for his steadfast love endures forever,” I challenge you to keep going to verse twenty-six! If you feel your heart is cold toward it, if you feel yourself rolling your eyes, or if your mind wanders, or if you start skipping that line…don’t do it. Read it again and again, until your heart changes!

God created and rules over all of creation, God saw his people in Egypt and moved in to rescue them from slavery, and God provided for and preserved His people in their wandering in the desert until they finally came to the Promised Land.

God is trustworthy and faithful and strong. He keeps His promises.

There are so many more things He has done in scripture, most importantly His death and resurrection, and we can easily find them daily as we approach His Word.

The second thing we can remember in regards to God’s work is His work in our own lives as individuals. It’s all too easy to get caught up in our current unpredictable life circumstances. A beautiful act of private worship can be simply remembering as much as you can about what He’s done in your life. I keep a journal, so it is especially enjoyable for me to re-read certain seasons of prayers and how He answered them. I am often emboldened for the future as I remember His work in my own life.

“My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
    and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
    and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
 for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.                                                                                                                  My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.” -Psalm 63:5-11

The third thing we can remember is what God has done in other believer’s lives. Do you know someone who has walked through a fiery trial with God’s help and has a passionate testimony? Could you ask that person to have coffee with you and share their story with you? Have you read a Christian biography lately?

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.” -Psalm 77:11

The fourth thing we can remember is what God is currently doing in our lives and other believers lives. Where do you sense that He is working in your life personally? Who has He put in your life? Do you have friends at church who are experiencing amazing things? Because our current circumstances sometimes feel mundane or normal, this might be the hardest to see at first. There are exciting things going on all around us, that we will look at someday and consider to be all part of God’s plan. Let’s open our eyes and see them and pray for them. God is not finished remembering US. He is still doing, working, providing, initiating, loving, and caring for His people. And He will continue forever because His steadfast love endures forever.

“He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.” -Psalm 111:5

The Lord tends to our heart’s fears quite well through this practice of remembering. It takes the practice of engaging the mind and some work toward not being passive. If we are Christ Followers, though, doesn’t the name imply that we should be taking action by cooperating with our Lord?

“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today.” -Deuteronomy 15:15

 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
    make known his deeds among the peoples!
 Sing to him, sing praises to him;
    tell of all his wondrous works!
 Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
 Seek the Lord and his strength;
    seek his presence continually! -1 Chronicles 16:8-11

Blessings to you as you seek the Lord through remembering!

Please join me over the next four weeks as I focus in on moving from fear to trust and courage. I’ll be posting encouragement in this area once a week on my blog. Four practices for moving to courage and trust will be presented in the format of 1 practice per week.  Later in the week, I’ll also share a STRETCH my F A I T H “Stretch of the Week” along with encouragement from God’s Word in the area of fear to all of my newsletter subscribers. If you’re not signed up for my newsletter, you can do it here:

Wasteland To Graceland / Stretch My Faith Community Newsletter

When you sign up, you will automatically receive a free 30-minute stretch session on overcoming the winter blues as well as a free mini-course called Empowered by Truth.

Linking up with these wonderful bloggers this week!

purposefulfaith.com      dreamtogether-linkup      Blooming lavender in a field at sunset in Provence, France      “countingmyblessings"     button 125px        Grab button for Being Confident of This    Dance With Jesus   Grace-Moments-button.png          

                                                                

 

 

 

 

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